Hedgehogs in danger as cold snap bites

PRICKLY SITUATION: Thje Northumbrian Hedgehog Rescue Trust is caring for almost 100 underweight hedgehogs that are unable to survive on their own, after the unusually mild winter disrupted their hibernation pattern. Picture shows hedgehogs Buffy (in blue hat) and Pixie (in red hat).
PRICKLY SITUATION: Thje Northumbrian Hedgehog Rescue Trust is caring for almost 100 underweight hedgehogs that are unable to survive on their own, after the unusually mild winter disrupted their hibernation pattern. Picture shows hedgehogs Buffy (in blue hat) and Pixie (in red hat).
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HEDGEHOGS have been ordered to wrap up warm as the cold snap heads for Wearside this weekend.

Forecasters predict parts of the North East could have two inches of snow by tomorrow as wintry weather sweeps across the country.

Julian Mayes, of weather forecasters Meteo Group, said: “People can expect fairly persistent snow, even in lower areas, by mid-afternoon on Saturday.”

Council gritters and snow ploughs are on stand-by, and police are warning motorists to take care.

Age UK has called on people to check elderly neighbours, friends and relatives. The charity claims up to 30,000 deaths are linked to the cold in the UK every year.

An Age UK spokesman said: “Many people believe that the only risk of winter weather is getting a cold, but the risk is much greater.

“Low temperatures raise blood pressure, which puts people at greater risk of heart attacks and strokes, as well as increasing the likelihood and severity of flu and other respiratory problems.”

The cold weather is also posing a problem for some wildlife. The Hedgehog Rescue Trust is caring for almost 100 underweight hedgehogs that are unable to survive on their own, after the unusually mild winter disrupted their hibernation pattern.

The prickly creatures are in danger of death during the coming cold snap as they have not put on enough weight to hibernate.

•Send us your winter weather photos of Sunderland and East Durham this weekend. Email pics to echo.news@northeast-press.co.uk