Local woman is named BBC's wildlife hero for work rescuing hedgehogs

By Chew Valley Gazette in Local People

A local wildlife charity founder has been named BBC Springwatch’s Unsprung Wildlife Hero for 2017.

Jules Bishop, founder of Prickles Hedgehog Rescue, is delighted to have received a Wildlife Hero Award on the live show of BBC 2 Springwatch and would like to thank those who nominated her.

Prickles, founded in 2007 has gone from strength to strength and the numbers of hedgehogs the charity has rescued, rehabilitated and released has increased year on year.  The charity’s rescue centre is based in Cheddar but takes in hedgehogs from across a wide area including North Somerset, Bath and North East Somerset, and Mendip.

“Since we opened we have rescued over 4000 hedgehogs,” Jules told the Chew Valley Gazette. Of these 4,000 hedgehogs Jules estimates that at least 50 have been rescued in the Chew Valley and Wrington Vale area, which is currently served by two volunteers.

Jules said the team of volunteers and supporters are the key to the charity’s success and she wished to thank everyone who has worked so hard over the years.

The hedgehog population in the UK is in rapid decline according to recent studies. In 2009 a project by Hull University estimated that by 2029 the hedgehog could be extinct, whilst a survey in 2015 found that rural hedgehogs had declined by half since 2000. Charities like Prickles and their army of volunteers are trying to curb this decline before the hedgehog is lost forever.

Asked which of the thousands of rescue cases sticks most in her memory Jules said: “The hedgehog that was found swimming in the Moat, Bishop Palace Wells springs to mind as a human chain was created to rescue him.”

Another case is that of Crispian, a hoglet found in a crisp packet hence his name.

“He was stuck behind a steel grill blocking space under neath a large stairwell. The grill was removed using a disc cutter and the rescue took six hours,” explained Jules.

You can find out more about Prickles at: www.prickleshedgehogrescue.org.uk

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