Animals from a Sussex rescue centre have been 'hogging' the limelight as they joined the beautiful Sarah-Jane Honeywell on the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre stage in Guildford this week.
CBeebies star Sarah, who is patron for East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service (WRAS), invited several rescued hedgehogs along to Guildford's Yvonne Arnaud Theatre for their acting debut and to raise awareness of their plight.
This autumn and winter has seen hedgehog rescuers up and down the country being inundated with hedgehogs needing help. Just like Sarah's character 'Sleeping Beauty', the hedgehogs would usually be getting forty winks at this time of year. However, there have been major problems with baby hedgehogs being born too late or having been separated from their mothers who become more concerned about hibernation.
Sarah is urging the public to look out for hedgehogs and to support wildlife rescuers up and down the country: "It is so sad that so many of these wonderful little creatures get abandoned at this time of year, it must be so cold and distressing for them. Organisations like East Sussex Wildlife Rescue are the hedgehog’s Prince Charming who come along and save them" said Sarah. "Hedgehogs numbers are on the decline according to the British Hedgehog Preservation Society and hedgehog rescue organisations like East Sussex Wildlife Rescue are struggling to cope with the workload. WRAS have had hedgehogs come in during the recent snow weighing less than 250 grams, which is about the same weight as an apple, but they need to be over 600grams to survive hibernation safely."
"If you find a hedgehogs out during the day time there is likely to be something wrong with it so please pick it up and contact your local wildlife rescue. Hedgehogs do not always hibernate continuously throughout the winter so they will come out and wander round especially if hungry. If you see one out at night during the winter, it should be weighed if it looks small, and if under 600 grams it will need help, so contact your local wildlife rescue for advice. If it is up to weight please ensure you put the hedgehog back exactly where you found it" said Trevor Weeks, founder of East Sussex WRAS.
With the recent heavy snow, Trevor Weeks, found himself bedding down at the rescue centre, making sure the hedgehogs were cared for. East Sussex WRAS currently has over 65 hedgehogs, two wood pigeons, a badger, a feral pigeon and a Tawny Owl in care at the centre all which need regular cleaning, feeding and medication.
Many wild birds and mammals will struggle to find food during the snow, but Trevor is urging people not to forget about fresh water. "We have seen many birds on the roads sides drinking out of salty water where the roads have been gritted, but this is not good for them. Please empty your water bowls as often as you can and mix a spoonful of sugar in warm water so to provide the birds and mammals with extra energy and it keep the water defrosted for slightly longer too" added Trevor Weeks.
WRAS is a charity and relies on donations to support its work and to pay for the food, hospital, medication and keeping the ambulances on the road. So please consider making an online donation or posting a donation to East Sussex WRAS, PO Box 2148, Seaford, East Sussex, BN25 9DE. Further advice and information on hedgehogs can be found on this website To find your local Hedgehog Carer contact the British Hedgehog Preservation Society on 01584 890 801.
You can see Sarah starring alongside Boyzone’s Shane Lynch in Sleeping Beauty at Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre until Sun 9 Jan. For tickets or more information please visit www.yvonne-arnaud.co.uk or call the Box Office on 01483 44 00 00.
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Press Contacts: Laura Butler, Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, 01483 440077
Trevor Weeks, Director, East Sussex WRAS, 07931 523958