Gardeners are being urged to take care when mowing the lawn to help protect British wildlife.
Hedgehogs can suffer terrible injuries as people carelessly use mowers and strimmers.
These kinds of accidents become more common during spring and summer as people take to their gardens.
Check areas thoroughly before strimming or mowing. You should also check for hoglets as the nest could be a nursery nest.
Allotment keepers should also keep an eye out for hedgehogs and other small mammals, and any injured animals should be seen by a vet.
Councillor Stewart Swinburn, cabinet member for Environment at North East Lincolnshire Council said:
Strimmers and mowers can cause horrific injuries to hedgehogs, which often have to be put to sleep or are killed instantly. Hedgehogs need space to forage and generally enjoy the safety of people’s gardens. It’s vital people take the time to check their gardens before getting the mower or strimmer out so as not to cause further damage to our native wildlife.
Gavin McGuire, grounds maintenance operative for North East Lincolnshire Council and hedgehog champion, said:
I recently found two hedgehogs in my garden in as many weeks. Both had suffered injuries to their back legs which unfortunately had to be amputated. The vet said they’re from strimming accidents. They come in from the allotments when people have been cutting back hedges and clearing long grass. I want people to just be aware of them before they do they anything.
If you’ve found a hedgehog you are concerned about the best advice is to pick it up using gardening gloves.
Bring it indoors and put it in a high sided cardboard box with an old towel or fleece in the bottom for the hedgehog to hide under and put the box somewhere quiet.
Fill a hot water bottle so there’s a nice gentle heat coming through and put it in the bottom of the box with the hedgehog, ensuring it has room to move should it get too warm.
Make sure the bottle is always kept warm – if allowed to go cold it will chill the hedgehog and do more harm than good.
If the hedgehog is bleeding do not add a hot water bottle as this will make it bleed more quickly.
Offer meaty cat or dog food and fresh water then call the British Hedgehog Preservation Society on 01584 890 801 for further advice and the numbers of local contacts.