Norwich hedgehog rescue centre to close

Hedgehogs will lose a loving home after the founder of an animal rescue project said she was stopping her voluntary work.

Claire Williamson set up Norwich Hedgehog Rescue in 2008 and looked after the creatures at her Costessey home before releasing them back into the wild.

But the hospital gets no regular funding and the demands of rescuing the creatures as well as rehoming stray cats have taken their toll. Ms Williamson said she was left with no choice but to close the centre because of the economic downturn.

The mother-of-two said: 'The donations just don't come in any more.

'I have spent thousands of pounds of my own money on these rescue centres in the past years and have kept them running with help from public donations.'

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Norwich Hedgehog Rescue took more than 600 calls last year for help from as far away as Cambridge and Suffolk.

They have released around 700 hedgehogs back into the wild in four years.

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In 2010 Ms Williamson also started a stray cat rescue project and she has since rehomed more than 150 cats.

She added: 'We have been asking for �25 per cat or kittens and this only contributes towards a small percentage of the bill.'

In August Ms Williamson opened a fundraising store on Hall Road called Heal (Help Every Animal Live) and the store will stay open.

To date, it has bought equipment for Little Tinkers Pony Sanctuary, Norfolk Dog Lost and donated money to the Little Hen Rescue.

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