The number of reports of dehydrated hedgehogs found recently has risen as temperatures continue to soar and the land dries out. An animal charity has issued a plea to the public to think about helping wildlife after an influx of calls from members of the public who have found unwell hedgehogs in need of help.

Fay Vass, chief executive of the British Hedgehog Preservation Society said: “With the very hot dry weather hedgehogs and other wildlife are struggling to find natural sources of water, and the ground is so dry and hard that their natural food is hard to come by too.”

The charity is asking that everyone takes a few moments to ensure there are some shallow bowls of water in their gardens and, if possible, some hedgehog food or meaty cat or dog food for prickly visitors to enjoy as well.

Fay said: “We all know how horrible it is to be thirsty, but this goes beyond that, there is so little natural water around at the moment, the hedgehogs are having to rely on us being kind enough to leave a drink for them - it must be like an oasis in a desert!”