Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre

Gardeners urged to look before they lop

As a hedgehog is the latest casualty of strimmers, the RSPCA reminds gardeners to be on the lookout for wildlife

The RSPCA is warning gardeners to tread carefully to avoid disturbing or harming the wildlife which may be living in their gardens after a hedgehog was found with a severe cut to his head.

Every year the charity receive calls about wild animals with distressing and often fatal gardening related injuries, which in most cases are completely avoidable. With gardeners likely to make the most of the better weather, the RSPCA is urging them to be cautious.

Quick checks for wild animals and their nests in the long grass or foliage could be all that is needed to prevent young animals from being abandoned, severely injured or even killed.

In this incident an adult hedgehog was admitted to RSPCA Stapeley Grange after he was injured by a strimmer in Clayton Green, Lancashire.

Other cases in past years include a toad with its hind legs chopped off by a strimmer, a hedgehog burnt in pampas grass clearance, a blackbird speared by a garden fork and a toad stuck in a watering can.

Manager at RSPCA Stapeley Grange Lee Stewart said: “Unfortunately these casualties are not unusual at this time of year. Every year we see cases like this – all are very distressing for the animals concerned.

“Hedgehogs are one of the most affected as they curl up into a ball when they sense danger and can be hard to spot in the grass. This hedgehog has suffered terribly but after receiving the required vet attention he is now progressing well; we are all hoping that he will be returned to the wild soon

“We would urge people to take a little bit of caution when they are working in the garden. Overgrown hedges are often nesting sites for birds so it is worth checking to see if there are any nests before cutting them back.

“Taking two minutes to check for wildlife before strimming, mowing or cutting could save an animal’s life or prevent its nest from being destroyed. You never know what might be hiding away in the undergrowth.”