A spike in calls related to hedgehogs are expected this month in Sussex after a peak in reports this time last year.

The RSPCA said they received more than 250 calls in the county throughout 2018, of which 34 were in July alone.

According to the animal charity, the main reasons given by callers were that they had either found a sick or injured hedgehog, an orphaned newborn or juvenile or one that had been trapped or entangled.

RSPCA wildlife scientific officer Evie Button said:

“We receive more calls about hedgehogs than about almost any other wild animal.

“With a total of 10,644 calls taken last year, averaged out, we get a call every hour of every day relating to these iconic animals.”

Evie said the charity has some useful advice to help keep the prickly creatures safe in the garden, such as removing any netting, cover drains and holes, check before using a strimmer or mower and refrain from using poisonous slug pellets.

She said members of the public are often concerned when they see a baby hedgehog – called a hoglet – on its own.

The charity’s advice is to firstly check if it needs rescuing by watching from a distance, as it is generally best to leave them alone.

If it does need help, try to offer food suitable for their diet and some fresh water.

Evie added:

“During the summer months, only intervene straight away if you find a baby hedgehog in immediate danger, such as on a road, and the mother has been killed or if their eyes are closed and they are alone.”

Anyone who wishes to report concerns about a hedgehog or any other animal can contact the RSPCA’s Hotline on 0300 1234 999.