Suffolk couple’s crèche for injured and sick hedgehogs rescued 400 animals last year

Chris and Ann Rushbrook , who run Poppy's Crèche Hedgehog Rescue and Rehabilitation. Picture: SARAH

Chris and Ann Rushbrook , who run Poppy's Crèche Hedgehog Rescue and Rehabilitation. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

A couple who run a hedgehog rescue charity from their home near Stowmarket say they released more than 400 of the little animals into the wild just last year.

Ann and Chris Rushbrook currently have around 120 of the prickly creatures recovering at their home in Forward Green.

They set up the charity Poppy’s Crèche four years ago with the aim of treating injured and sick hedgehogs and finding a safe place to release them.

Completely self-funded, the charity recently received a cash boost of £1,000 through Aviva’s community fund.

But Mrs Rushbrook said they are still desperate for donations to keep the hungry hogs in food.

Chris and Ann Rushbrook , who run Poppy's Crèche Hedgehog Rescue and Rehabilitation. Picture: SARAH

Chris and Ann Rushbrook , who run Poppy's Crèche Hedgehog Rescue and Rehabilitation. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

She said: “I started off as a volunteer for somebody who looked after hedgehogs and then took a course on how to look after them myself at Vale Wildlife Hospital.

“We handle around 115 to 120 hedgehogs a month at the moment and release them into the wild.

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“But we have some that will stay with us forever. One of them is blind and we have three of them with only three legs.

“We try to give them as natural a life as possible.

Chris and Ann Rushbrook , who run Poppy's Crèche Hedgehog Rescue and Rehabilitation. Picture: SARAH

Chris and Ann Rushbrook , who run Poppy's Crèche Hedgehog Rescue and Rehabilitation. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“All the others we release.

“We have a brilliant team of volunteers who help us at the crèche. We must have released hundreds and hundreds over the years, I think we have probably had more than 400 last year.

“We are always in need of donations, it costs us around £400 a month just in food for the animals.”

Mrs Rushbrook said they had seen a recent rise in the number of sick animals due to the cold weather. She said: “On the day we had all the snow a chap brought in a baby hedgehog he had found sitting in the snow all alone.

Chris and Ann Rushbrook , who run Poppy's Crèche Hedgehog Rescue and Rehabilitation. Picture: SARAH

Chris and Ann Rushbrook , who run Poppy's Crèche Hedgehog Rescue and Rehabilitation. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“We named him Lucky as he was really lucky to be found.

“When he came in he only weighed 235g, now he weighs 600g and is doing every well and responding well to treatment.

“Hedgehogs are really up against it at the moment.

“Modern gardens do not help, paved areas with pots are not good for hedgehogs, they need to travel about but can’t.”

Chris and Ann Rushbrook , who run Poppy's Crèche Hedgehog Rescue and Rehabilitation. Picture: SARAH

Chris and Ann Rushbrook , who run Poppy's Crèche Hedgehog Rescue and Rehabilitation. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

She advised not to use slug pellets, as hedgehogs can get very sick eating them, and to create a gap under your fence so the little animals can get about.

For more information and to donate to the charity, visit poppyscreche.org

Chris and Ann Rushbrook , who run Poppy's Crèche Hedgehog Rescue and Rehabilitation. Picture: SARAH

Chris and Ann Rushbrook , who run Poppy's Crèche Hedgehog Rescue and Rehabilitation. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Chris and Ann Rushbrook , who run Poppy's Crèche Hedgehog Rescue and Rehabilitation. Picture: SARAH

Chris and Ann Rushbrook , who run Poppy's Crèche Hedgehog Rescue and Rehabilitation. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Chris and Ann Rushbrook , who run Poppy's Crèche Hedgehog Rescue and Rehabilitation. Picture: SARAH

Chris and Ann Rushbrook , who run Poppy's Crèche Hedgehog Rescue and Rehabilitation. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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