Room service is top class at hotel for hedgehogs
- Credit: Chris Bishop
The room service is impeccable, and the staff just can't do enough for their guests.
You could say veterinary nurse Emma Pickering takes her work home with her.
For at her home in Terrington St Clement, near King's Lynn, she runs a hotel for hedgehogs.
Mrs Pickering, 46, has a steady stream of the spiky creatures arriving for a restful break and plenty of cat food, to recharge their batteries ready to be released back into the wild.
"I've got 31 at the moment," she said as she and volunteer Debbie Bradley from nearby Long Sutton gave animals their daily check up.
"I'm on Google, things like that, all the vets know me, so I get people ringing me to say they've got a hedgehog in need."
A group of volunteer drivers runs a taxi service, collecting hedgehogs from as far away as Spalding.
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Emma's Hedgehog Hotel, which Mrs Pickering launched with husband Mark around 18 months ago, has just become a registered charity.
"They're vulnerable to extinction," she said. "So it's important we do everything we can to help them.
"Hedgehogs need specialist care, the sooner the better gives them a higher chance of survival."
She added an alert hedgehog foraging around in the day time could be a mother with hoglets, while an animal which looks lethargic or is running around in circles could be in need of help.
Mrs Pickering and Mrs Bradley said people could help hedgehogs by creating hedgehog holes in fences, putting out a shallow bowl of water and some kitten biscuits.
They added avoiding slug pellets and the use of netting would also make a garden a safer place for 'hogs, along with allowing an area to become overgrown.
Gardeners should also check for the animals before using a strimmer for obvious reasons.
Mrs Pickering has an Amazon wish-list to help support her guests and a Facebook page.
She has also launched a crowdfunding appeal to raise money for more accommodation at GoFundme.