Watch: Kevin the hedgehog recovers at Birmingham rescue centre set to win a top award

Array4Hogs hedgehog rescue centre in Birmingham has scooped a top award as it cares for animals like Kevin
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Sharon Baker carries her love for hedgehogs on her sleeve. Or rather on the skin just below the right sleeve-line. 

It is there, on the skin, the city centre bank worker has an inked image of a hedgehog. She calls it Dave.  It is a clue to the passion that has nearly taken over Sharon’s life. As founder of Array4Hogs Hedgehog Rescue - a non-profit organisation - she and a band of volunteers launch mercy dashes to save south Birmingham’s struggling prickly inhabitants. 

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It is a labour of love that has earned the 56-year-old a surprise – some may say unlikely – honour. On Sunday (January 28) at Westside BID’s WOWs award – a local business celebration - Sharon will receive a special gong for her voluntary work. 

She assures me the cat is out of the bag and her success can be revealed before the red carpet ceremony. It’s a worthy accolade. Sharon, by day business change manager at Deutsche Bank, Brindleyplace, has stepped into the breach at a time when hedgehogs are enduring a particularly prickly time. “I do what I can with the time that I’ve got and sometimes the time I haven’t got,” she said. 

Hegehog recovers after being rescued in Birmingham by Array4HogsHegehog recovers after being rescued in Birmingham by Array4Hogs
Hegehog recovers after being rescued in Birmingham by Array4Hogs

Set-up in 2019, Array4Hogs took in 184 of the creatures last year. That was well up on the previous year which was well up on the year before. They are falling foul of neat and tidy gardens – enclosed spaces without routes to other plots. They are falling foul of astroturf lawns free from insects. They are falling foul of strimmers. 

Climate change has brought a fresh peril. “This year we had a lot of juveniles,” said Sharon, “who were heavily laden with parasites. It takes a lot to get a juvenile parasite free and get them out there. I try to stay within the south Birmingham boundary, but if someone brought a hedgehog from Wales I’d take it in.” 

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Sharon is currently nursing only four back to health at her Maypole home, including Kevin featured in the video at the top of our story. The hedgehog has been filmed recovering from a rear leg amputation - he’s just done a big poo! It’s the first one since his operation.

Sharon Baker from hedgehog rescue service Array4hogs in BirminghamSharon Baker from hedgehog rescue service Array4hogs in Birmingham
Sharon Baker from hedgehog rescue service Array4hogs in Birmingham

Sharon has provided B&B for as many as 19 hegehogs at a time. She and her team are proud that 50 per cent of those hedgehogs rescued successfully make it back to the wild. In some cases, the release back to nature defies all odds. “Last year we had a hedgehog with half his face strimmed off,” said Sharon. “I had a man in tears because he’d accidentally strimmed the hedgehog. But the hedgehog went on to full release. We called him Ben.” 

Array4Hogs is reliant on public support through fundraising and donations. Two branches of Sainsbury’s have drop off points for hedgehog food. It’s hard graft, but on Sunday Sharon’s efforts will be recognised. For one night only she’ll be hedgehogging the limelight. 

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