New seaside home for rescued hedgehogs

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PRICKLY visitors have been given a new lease of life along the coast.

Conservation charity Prickly Pals is using the National Trust’s Whitburn Coastal Park to release rehabilitated hedgehogs back into the wild.

There’s a healthy population of hedgehogs in the coastal park and we’re grateful to the CCG who have been making a mammal habitat in the park

Sharon Brown, from Prickly Pals

Twelve hedgehogs have been released since last May and a further eight are due to be set free this spring.

One was even named Souter, as the Coast Road park is right next to Souter Lighthouse.

The Coastal Conservation Group (CCG), which maintains the area, has also been getting involved by making it hog friendly area.

Sharon Brown, from Prickly Pals, said: “There’s a healthy population of hedgehogs in the coastal park and we’re grateful to the (CCG) who have been making mammal habitat in the park, including building log piles which are superb nest areas for hogs.

“We also used the wildlife garden at Souter Lighthouse as an experiment with one hog called Merc, who had been strimmed and had a massive open wound right across his back that needed stitching.

“While he had healed lovely, he had no spines across his back and therefore no protection from predators. It would have taken all summer to grow his spines back if we had kept him in the pens, but in a more natural situation – the wildlife garden – where we could supplement his feed and continue to monitor him, he had a full coat of prickles and was released in early May.”

A hedgehog adventure day will be held at Souter Lighthouse on Sunday, May 3. Visitors will be able to learn all sorts of hedgehog -related things.