Solihull's Sally Marjoram wanted to do her bit to solve a prickly problem - the drastic decline in the hedgehog population.
So she’s started Happyhogs Hedgehog Rescue in her own back garden, helping to nurse sick and injured creatures back to health.
The mum-of-one said some zoologists were predicting the species could be extinct in Britain in 15 years and last year’s wet weather has meant more of the mammals than usual are in need of help.
“I went to a rescue centre in Sutton Coldfield to look at maybe having one released into my garden, but it’s like when you go to buy a loaf of bread and end up spending a £100,” said Sally.
“There’s a lot of reasons that hedgehog numbers are falling, but the main one is us - it’s humans. So I felt like I wanted to do something to help.”
She’s also keen to debunk some myths about the mammals. Far from being their favourite treat, milk makes them very sick - the animals are lactose intolerant. Nor are hedgehogs ridden with fleas - only a handful out of hundreds carry the parasite.
The 35-year-old, from Elmdon, is presently looking after six of the animals. Feeding them a diet of mealworms, cat food and sunflower seeds, all but two of her charges are now hibernating. The animals should be ready to be released into the wild by the spring.
“It’s always sad to see them go. You’ve spent so long looking after them it’s like waving goodbye to your children. But it’s very rewarding too.”
Sally also takes the animals into local primary schools - she previously worked as a teacher but was forced to give up her job due to ill health.
If you find a poorly hedgehog or would like Sally to do a school talk, call her on 07984 716868.