PRICKLY patients will be brought to a new sanctuary in future as a Haverfordwest hedgehog hospital and rescue centre prepares to move.

Beryl Steadman’s home has provided a safe haven for sick and injured hedgehogs from across west Wales for more than 13 years.

Pembrokeshire Hogspital is now in the process of being taken over by Russ and Ginny of Silent World, who are making preparations to care for hedgehogs in need alongside their business.

The pair are better known for dealing with reptiles, but are also experienced with working with a range of wild life rescues and assisting the RSPCA.

Beryl said: “It is quite exciting, but it will feel most peculiar when I step down, especially at busy times of the year.

“It’s a lot of work and I’ve never had a holiday.”

After years of rescue calls at all hours of the day and night, Beryl has now decided to hand over the organisation, but will remain involved to offer advice and guidance until the change is fully established.

She added: “We are trying to make the transition as smooth as possible and hope to keep the same contact number.”

Beryl has rescued huge numbers of these creatures over the last decade, with a total of 152 coming to her in the last year.

At one time she and a small team of volunteers were dealing with hedgehog rescues between Aberystwyth and Ammanford.

The biggest threat to hedgehogs is lungworm, but strimmers, bonfires and animal attacks have resulted in horrific injuries.

Beryl began looking after the animals in her garage and spare room, and a local carpenter converted old kitchen units into suitable accommodation. The charity has continued through fundraising and public donations.

Ginny of Silent World said: “It’s both exciting and daunting. It’s a bit of a learning curve for us and will be a lot of extra work. But I’m sure we will cope and at least there are two of us, along with the volunteer team and foster carers who are happy to carry on.

“We’re looking forward to it.”