The RSPCA fears the coming colder weather could make this winter particularly hard for Wiltshire’s hedgehogs as admissions to rescue centres already exceed last year’s numbers. 

Wiltshire’s wildlife rescue centre RSPCA Oak and Furrows admitted 73 hedgehogs last year, but as a whole the charity has already taken more hogs (1,896) than it did for the whole of last year (1,883).

RSPCA scientific officer Evie Button said: “A cold snap can be lethal for underweight hedgehogs if it means they go into hibernation before they’ve put enough weight on.

“If you see a young hoglet that’s only about the size of an apple – around 300g – they really need to be rescued and taken to a rehabilitation facility, as they won’t have enough fat reserves to last the winter.

“We fear this may turn out to be a bad year for hedgehogs as admission numbers into our centres have already overtaken 2020’s.

“We urge people to visit our website for advice on what to do if they see a sick or injured hog, particularly if it’s out and about during the day.”