Stoke & Staffordshire

Staffordshire firefighter rescues hedgehogs trapped in rubbish

Mitch Stafford, Joan Lockley and rescued hedgehogs Image copyright Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service
Image caption Mitch Stafford took the surviving hedgehogs to be cared for by Joan Lockley

An off-duty firefighter rescued a family of hedgehogs he discovered trapped in fly-tipped rubbish.

Mitch Stafford found the nest of four hedgehogs in Uttoxeter on Saturday.

One of them - a baby - had a plastic bag stuck around its neck and could not be saved.

The surviving three were taken to West Midlands Hedgehog Rescue and Cannock firefighter Mr Stafford now wants to raise awareness of the impact of littering on wildlife.

Image copyright Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service
Image caption Mr Stafford said it was "horrendous" to find one of the hedgehogs dead

"To find a baby hedgehog dead with a plastic bag wrapped around its neck was horrendous," he said.

"We rescued the rest of the family from a mass of plastic bags, take away boxes and crisp packets.

"It's disgraceful to see such harm caused to helpless animals."

After untangling the other hedgehogs, Mr Stafford took the family to work with him while he researched somewhere to take them.

He and his crew discovered Joan Lockley, who runs the hedgehog rescue centre from her home in Walsall.

She will look after the hedgehogs until they are strong enough to be released into the wild.

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