A WILDLIFE champion is urging people to help care for hedgehogs.

Hedgehog Awareness Week runs until Saturday and Tracy Pierce. who who runs the Facebook page, Hedgehog Help Prestatyn, said: “I would like to use the awareness week to highlight why the hedgehogs are declining and how they can be helped.

“Hedgehogs are struggling. They are losing their habitat as people fence off their gardens and lawns.”

Tracy of Ffordd Penrhwylfa, Prestatyn, is registered with the British Hedgehog Preservation Society and completed a hedgehog carer course last year at the Vale Wildlife Hospital in Tewkesbury. She has, on average, looked after 10 hedgehogs over the winter – seven of which were hoglets born in her garden last September.

She said: “They need to be able to move between gardens to find food, water, shelter and mates. Gardens that are too tidy leave nowhere for them to nest, shelter and find food. The mini beasts the hedgehogs rely on for food are killed off when garden chemicals such as slug pellets are used. These also poison the hedgehogs.”

Tracy says many of her released hogs have ended up dead due to the increased traffic on road.

“Hedgehogs are searching further for food, water, shelter and mates. It is so upsetting for them to be killed on the roads when they have been in care for months,” she said.

Tracy is offering the following tips:

l Make a gap the size of a CD in fences or under gates.

l Leave wild, untidy areas for mini beasts and hedgehogs. Piles of leaves, open compost heap.

l Check for hedgehogs before strimming or forking areas

l Put down a shallow dish of water and if possible some hedgehog food.

l Avoid the use of chemicals.

l If you have a pond, make sure hedgehogs can climb back out. A ramp, stones or similar.