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Hellesdon's hedgehog rescue centre gets cash boost

PUBLISHED: 11:02 27 January 2010 | UPDATED: 07:45 02 July 2010

Romeo, left, and Juliet, the 9-month-old hedgehogs which don't like to be separated at Norwich Hedgehog Rescue.

Romeo, left, and Juliet, the 9-month-old hedgehogs which don't like to be separated at Norwich Hedgehog Rescue.

Tracey Gray

A rescue centre which helps injured and ill hedgehogs is set to expand and help other wildlife.

Norwich Hedgehog Rescue which is based in Middletons Lane, Hellesdon, was formed at the end of 2008 and has since gone from strength to strength, taking in 236 hedgehogs last year.

A rescue centre which helps injured and ill hedgehogs is set to expand and help other wildlife.

Norwich Hedgehog Rescue which is based in Middletons Lane, Hellesdon, was formed at the end of 2008 and has since gone from strength to strength, taking in 236 hedgehogs from October 2008 to October last year.

Now mother-of-two Claire Williamson, who runs the centre, has been given permission to expand it and set-up Norwich Bird Rescue, helped with a £3,500 grant from the pet shop Pets at Home.

The bird rescue part of the centre will concentrate on wild birds in particular, including birds of prey, with a possibility of taking in captive-bred birds for re-homing.

Ms Williamson said: “I will also be able to care for any small animal such as rodents and rabbits. Once spring time arrives, the heated shed that is currently used over the winter to house underweight hedgehogs will be available to use as an isolation unit, so animals will be out there first.

“This new project will not be a registered charity. It is a hobby and the number of animals I will take in will be restricted to those I can provide adequate care for. Therefore, the number of places available for this type of animal will be limited.”

To keep the centre running, donations of equipment, animal food and help and assistance at awareness and fund-raising days is needed.

Items needed include pet carriers and cages, bird food and accessories, as well as newspapers, towels, washing up liquid and kitchen roll.

There is also a need for any bric-a-brac which can be used at fund-raising car-boot sales or tombola. Items can be dropped off at the centre, calling them in advance on 0788 4418943.

Pets at Home, based in Sprowston Retail Park, is also acting as a collection point for anybody who would like to donate an item, which should be clearly labelled Norwich Bird Rescue and left with a member of staff in the store.

On April 10 and 11, the centre will also be holding a hedgehog release weekend at Fairhaven Woodland and Water Gardens in South Walsham.

Ms Williamson said: “Over the two days we will be holding lots of competitions, stalls, and a few workshops to get all the children involved in wildlife care. Then late afternoon, on both days we will be releasing approximately eight hedgehogs into the woodland gardens.”

Anyone who can offer their time over the weekend and help with the stalls should contact the centre.

Later in the year the centre will also be looking to hold an open day for people to come to the rescue centre to view the hoglets and injured hedgehogs in the hedgehog hospital and to see the new wildlife side of the rescue centre.

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