A RESCUER known by many as the 'hedgehog lady' of Acomb has told of her role in saving the nocturnal and endangered species.

Emma Kate Farley - who fell in love with the way these creatures make "nice snuffly noises" and "little noses" - has been running her rescue for over a decade.

With a passion for protecting hedgehogs and other precious animal visitors, Emma claims that 90 per cent of her garden is dedicated to wildlife - from long grass to connecting it up to 20-30 neighbouring homes.

"I just love the fact there's this whole world going on while you're sleeping," Emma said.

Emma, originally from Devon, never knew so many hedgehogs lived amongst us in cities until she moved to York.

York Press: Emma Kate Farley's hedgehog friendly garden space

After buying her own home near the city centre, she saw a little hedgehog on her doorstep in need of some care. From that point on she began feeding hedgehogs and met an animal expert who had helped hedgehogs for many years.

"There's a really good hedgehog population here," she told The Press.

"I started taking them in and I used to basically help other rescues. Once people know that's what you do you become known as a hedgehog person and I've got more and more into it.

York Press:

"That's at the point I realised when you've got one or two it's not a problem in terms of the financial side but once you get beyond that the cost of doing it becomes quite high.

"I think the cutest thing about them is their little snuffly noses. I'm lucky enough to get really close to them all the time and the thing I really love is they're quite elusive. They're quite nocturnal creatures.

"There's a whole world of nocturnal activity.

"They make a really nice snuffly noise."

In order to cover the cost of healthcare, equipment and wound treatment, Emma started up her own jewellery making business, Little Silver Hedgehog, in 2012 as well as working in freelance communications.

As she continues on a mission to protect York's nocturnal population, she educates hundreds each year on hedgehog first aid with a full guide to hedgehog-friendly living on her website.

Emma's top tips for a hedgehog-friendly garden...

  • Leave a gap in your fence to allow a 'hedgehog highway' between gardens - preferably stretching 20-30 gardens.
  • Let your plants and grass grow wild: "The wilder it is, the less manicured and the more you let the weeds grow the better it will be for wildlife," Emma said.
  • Leave dishes of water all around the garden.
  • Create a hedgehog feeding station and leave kitten biscuits inside.
  • Don't cut nettles.
  • Find a balance between spaces that are more manicured and sociable while leaving areas for nature to thrive.

"The wilder and more unkempt, the better," Emma, who now lives between Acomb and Knapton, said.

York Press: Emma Kate Farley's hedgehog friendly garden space

"It's trying to get the balance between making a space you can enjoy with your family and friends and helping wildlife at the same time."