TWO animal rescue charities have received food donations to help hundreds of baby hedgehogs survive the harsh winter.

Wiltshire Wildlife Hospital and Oak and Furrows Wildlife Rescue Centre issued urgent appeals after being inundated with hoglets too small and underfed to survive the cold weather.

Their call was answered by bosses at Spike’s World, who have created food specially formulated for hedgehogs.

Marilyn Korkis, who runs Wiltshire Wildlife Hospital, near Salisbury, said: “It’s a really, really kind donation from Spike's, we appreciate it very much.

“We have many mouths to feed until around April, and this will greatly help us to do that.

“It’s a relief that we don’t have to use our own money to buy the food the hedgehogs badly need.”

Specially trained staff at Wiltshire Wildlife Hospital are currently caring for around 300 hoglets, while Oak and Furrows are nursing 145.

Lucie Kay, centre administrator at Oak and furrows Wildlife Rescue, at Cricklade, said: “This donation of Spikes will greatly help with the feeding of 145 mouths.

“The food provided by Spike’s will be used every day – it’s a great help.

“Spike’s is highly nutritional and is just what the hedgehogs need to support their good health over winter.”

Spike’s is part of the Spike’s World range of animal food which is designed for hedgehogs, chickens, ducks and swans.

Camille Ashforth, brand manager for Spike’s World, said the company wanted to play its part.

She said: “These charities are doing great work and deserve every possible help, and we’re delighted to do our bit.

“The hoglets need the best possible diet to help them to grow to a weight in which they are safe to be set back into the wild, and Spike’s provides just that.

“We are very happy to be supporting the dedicated and committed work of these fantastic charities.”

Animal rescue centres across the country have been inundated with hoglets born too late in the year to fend for themselves.

Unable to feed up in time for their winter hibernation, the hoglets have been found by householders who have brought them to specialist support centres.

Wiltshire Wildlife Hospital said this year’s figure had surpassed last year’s previous record-breaking tally of 215 babies.

Marilyn and her team are working around the clock to provide care. They expect it to be April before they can release the hedgehogs back into the wild.

Oak and Furrows Wildlife Rescue said it had treated even more hoglets last winter, at around 160.

But the financial impact of this winter’s care package meant that it had to launch a £50,000 fundraising appeal to help it survive past February.

The charity said it had taken some babies in from other rescue centres which are at capacity.

Young hedgehogs need to weigh about 600g to survive the winter, but many are being found at as little as 300g.

For more information, visit the charities' websites: Oak and Furrows Wildlife Rescue (, Wiltshire Wildlife Hospital (