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Nursery site helps out rescue hedgehogs

PUBLISHED: 14:01 28 February 2008 | UPDATED: 10:31 03 July 2010

A hedgehog hospital is hoping to move and expand its services to add more "wards" and an education centre for visitors and school children.

Lynn Satchell is caring for 30 sick and injured creatures at the rescue centre she has set up in her bungalow back garden in Potter's Drive, Hopton.

A hedgehog hospital is hoping to move and expand its services to add more “wards” and an education centre for visitors and school children.

Lynn Satchell is caring for 30 sick and injured creatures at the rescue centre she has set up in her bungalow back garden in Potter's Drive, Hopton.

But she is seizing the chance to uproot to Myhill's Nursery at Fritton, opposite Fritton Lake, after horticulturists there responded to her plea for more space to better care for her patients.

Mrs Satchell said interest in the hospital had been overwhelming with many people wanting to learn more about the animals and see the hospital for themselves.

Now she aims to care for up to 200 hedgehogs in six sheds at Myhills - but needs to clear planning hurdles and red tape ahead of a hoped-for opening in May.

John Myhill said the hedgehog hospital fitted in with the garden centre ethos of balancing the needs of growers with local wildlife adding that the hedgehog was a natural pest controller munching its way through slugs without the need for pellets.

“Every garden should have one,” he said, adding: “We heard that she was after a site and asked if she would like to come to the nursery. We have a 10 acre site here so we have quite a bit of land that we are not really using. There are not as many hedgehogs around as there once were so it is a good cause. Also we try not to use many chemicals here so it fits in with what we are doing.”

Mrs Satchell, a former technical records co-ordinator with Bristow helicopters said she was planning a programme of morning school trips and afternoon talks as well as branching out into “exotics” - breeds like African and Asian pygmies - so there was more for people to see.

She is still looking for donations of sheds and is planning to landscape the site and recruit more volunteers. Meanwhile she is working to gain charity status and lever grant funding.

“It is all very exciting,” she said. “I expected to be at this stage in about four or five years - but it has happened in just seven days. Since January 1, after the Mercury article, all hell has broken loose. The Friends for Animals charity is raising money for me. It just took off, the phone did not stop ringing. I have had offers of land and heard from some kitchen garden people who would like a hedgehog as a natural way to keep the garden pest free.”

Once up and running the unit - Spikes Wildlife Aid Trust - will be one of the largest in the UK. A fledgling website has been set up and can be visited at www.spikeswildlifeaidtrust.com. To donate towels, meat-based pet food or find out about volunteering call 01502 732423.

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