DONATIONS are needed to support the care of hoglets welcomed by the Scottish SPCA at Fishcross.

The animal welfare charity has been caring for young hedgehogs at the nearby National Wildlife Rescue Centre since the first arrivals in June.

Numbers are expected to rise, with almost 2,500 cared for last year, with food and essential items being sought at the centre in Fishcross.

Steven Gray, SSPCA's wildlife manager, is also hoping to raise awareness on what to do when spotting a hedgehog.

He said: “The numbers we saw last year were unprecedented.

“Due to the time of year when many hedgehogs arrived, they didn’t increase their body mass enough to survive hibernating in the wild so they had to stay with us until spring.

“Hedgehogs will have two litters a year and we started to see the first hoglets arrive in June.

“We want to keep young wildlife with their parents where possible so people should only call us if they are certain the animal needs our help.

“Generally speaking, if people spot a hedgehog out during the day then we would advise people to contact us but around birthing time, adult hedgehogs might just be moving from one nesting site to another.

“Any adult that looks in good body condition is likely to be doing this and they do not need our help.

“If a hoglet or young hedgehog is on its own or if a hedgehog looks thin or wobbly then people should contact our animal helpline.”

The helpline is available by calling 03000 999 999.

People are being asked to be mindful of disturbing any hedgehog nests as the mothers can become extremely distressed.

In some cases, this may even result in the mother killing or eating her offspring.

Steven added: “We would ask people to be mindful of this and try to cause as little upset as possible.

“If you are aware of a nest in your garden, try not to continuously check it as this causes the mother a great deal of stress each time.”

Garden appliances can also pose a risk with people asked to be careful and to check for wildlife in long grass.

Appealing for donations, the wildlife manager said: “It’s at this time of year that the numbers of hedgehogs begin to rise and we can struggle to keep up with demand for items such as food and other items.

“If people are able to donate these essential products then they can do so by dropping them at our centre or via our Amazon wish list.”

Those looking to hand donations in at the Fishcross centre, FK10 3AN, are asked to note soft materials such as towels cannot be accepted at this time due to contamination risks.

Click here for the centre's wish list.