A FAMILY of hedgehogs have been rescued from a waste bag and given a new home.

The little creatures were discovered when a waste collection company came to remove a large bag of soil from Laura and Tom Verney's back garden in Newbury on Monday, August 10.

Luckily for the mother hedgehog - and her five hoglets - the couple already had a hedgehog house installed, after receiving one as a gift last Christmas.

The prickly mammals were safely transferred to their new address and took no time in settling in.

Laura, 28, said: "I think it's one of the most amazing things I've ever seen as they are so endangered. Our two-year-old is fascinated by them. They have such sweet little faces."

Laura said she had contacted a hedgehog charity for advice to keep them safe and well.

She added: "A lot of people are having bonfires and sorting their garden out so it’s really important to check in case they have hedgehogs too."

Rough estimates put the hedgehog population in England, Wales and Scotland at about one million, compared with 30 million in the 1950s.

Hedgehog numbers are continuing to decline in the UK with a survery showing numbers have fallen by around 50 per cent since the start of the 21st Century. 

The RSPCA treated 307 hedgehogs across Hampshire in 2019 while nationally, between March and May their staff helped 540 of the prickly creatures around the country.