HEDGEHOGS have their own heroine in the shape of Stockbridge resident Laura Sunderland.

She set up Riddlesden Hedgehog Helpers to organise a host of activities to protect hedgehogs both locally and nationally.

The group will raise awareness of hedgehogs, campaign for hedgehog-friendly landscape management practices, and provide care kits for residents who want to care for an injured or poorly hedgehog

The campaign also involves encouraging residents to a join in a petition to Parliament to make hedgehogs a protected species. The petition currently has 5,000 signatures.

Laura secured a grant from Keighley Big Local to set up Riddlesden Hedgehog Helpers. She and fellow volunteers held a hedgehog-themed workshop at East Riddlesden Hall in the February half-term with the Big Local All For Play team, and set out to plan more events in the Easter holidays.

Laura said: “Our hedgehogs are known as European hogs. They are in massive decline here, but are thriving in France and Spain. It’s so important that we keep doing what we can to boost their numbers.

“We’re a collective of people aiming to make the whole of Riddlesden hedgehog-friendly. We’d love you to help, let’s give this endangered species more of a fighting chance”.

The Hedgehog Helpers plan to host training days in Hedgehog Care, and a hedgehog-themed play workshop at Riddlesden Cricket Club on April 15, with the All For Play team.

Big Local coordinator Shaun O’Hare said one of the group’s objectives was to put residents in the driving seat so they could take forwards projects either big or small.

He added: “The funding and practical support we are offering Hedgehog Helpers will help get residents develop their own interests, share their experiences and maintain momentum.”

Anyone interested in joining the Helpers should call Laura on 07905 179128.