Tillington woman cares for prickly guests

Maureen Williams rescues and cares for hedgehogs until they are healthy enough to be released. Photo by James Maggs. (4493591)

1411_2002 Maureen Williams who rescues & cares for hedgehogs until they are healthy enough to be released. Photo by James Maggs.Maureen with a male hedgehog who has been named Nicky. (4493597)

1411_2003 Maureen Williams who rescues & cares for hedgehogs until they are healthy enough to be released. Photo by James Maggs.Maureen with a male hedgehog who has been named Nicky. (4493600)

1411_2004 Maureen Williams who rescues & cares for hedgehogs until they are healthy enough to be released. Photo by James Maggs.Maureen with a male hedgehog who has been named Nicky. (4493603)

(4499900) Maureen has had to bottle-feed one of her hedgehogs this year which weighed in at around 65 grams.

(4499906) Maureen has had to bottle-feed one of her hedgehogs this year which weighed in at around 65 grams.

First published in News

THEY say that dogs are man's best friends, but for one woman a true mate is a little more prickly.

Maureen Williams, from Tillington, has been voluntarily caring for hedgehogs for the past five years - and, from the number of visitors dropping by her home this winter, word seems to be getting around.

Although she has never advertised or set up anything 'official', she claims that the animals continue to find their way to her home.

She cares for them during winter months or, as happened this year, when there are adverse weather conditions.

"It all started off with one small hedgehog in the road about five years ago," she said.

"A lady stopped the car when we were driving by Burghill Golf Club and told us to be careful. Me being me – I love animals – stopped the car and picked it up, took it back and popped it into a field.

"We found we had one or two around here and occasionally we saw a small hedgehog so I put the odd bit of food out.

"Then my son was down for Christmas and he said we must either have a weasel or hedgehog outside because there were footprints in the snow.

"So I went outside and found that there was a hedgehog so I took him in and started to feed it cat food and dog biscuits.

"They just continue to arrive now. Somehow or other they do seem to find me. But I love having them."

Maureen usually cares for around eight hedgehogs each year but has had 10 "guests" in 2014.

They live in cages in stables just behind her home, are fed cat biscuits and mealworms and sleep on sheep skin.

Maureen will release her hedgehogs into the countryside from April.

"They have a life of luxury," Maureen added. "But it keeps me happy."

Comments (3)

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3:03pm Wed 12 Mar 14

dippyhippy says...

What a lovely story, and what a lovely lady!
What a lovely story, and what a lovely lady! dippyhippy
  • Score: 2

7:09pm Wed 12 Mar 14

Gillian1961 says...

Well done I stopped on the Ledbury to Hereford road one night to let one cross the road I think they are lovely animials keep up the good work
Well done I stopped on the Ledbury to Hereford road one night to let one cross the road I think they are lovely animials keep up the good work Gillian1961
  • Score: 1

6:34pm Thu 13 Mar 14

Ubique1 says...

Super photographs . I would think that with all the flooding this year a lot of hibernated hedgehogs would have drowned so it's really important that there are people who take the time to ensure that little hoglets survive the winter so that when they are released they do what hedgehogs do in the Spring !
Super photographs . I would think that with all the flooding this year a lot of hibernated hedgehogs would have drowned so it's really important that there are people who take the time to ensure that little hoglets survive the winter so that when they are released they do what hedgehogs do in the Spring ! Ubique1
  • Score: 1

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