Hedgehog-saving teen recognised by prime minister

Dylan with a hedgehog
Dylan hosts livestreams about hedgehogs from his garden

A teenager who began looking after local hedgehogs during lockdown has been recognised by the prime minister.

Dylan, 17, from Blaenau Gwent, has spent visiting schools, clubs and youth groups raising awareness of the species' declining numbers.

He also uses any donations he gets to support animal rescue centres he takes unwell hedgehogs to.

Dylan has received one of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's Points of Light awards.

The award recognises outstanding individual volunteers who make a change in their community and inspire others.

In addition to raising money and awareness, Dylan rescues hedgehogs he finds out in the day and hosts livestreams about the creatures and how to help them from his garden.

"Since learning about their dramatic decline in numbers I've been on a mission to spread the word about these much-loved animals that are now at risk of extinction," said Dylan, who was just 13 when he started.

"I'd like to dedicate this award to all the fantastic volunteers across the country who give up their time to care for and rehabilitate hedgehogs and work so hard towards their conservation.

"I truly believe in time that we can reverse the decline, replenish biodiversity loss and see hedgehogs thrive once more."

With funding from the Welsh government, Dylan recently launched a Hedgehog First Response Unit - a team of trained volunteers who rescue injured and stranded hedgehogs across Monmouth and Chepstow.

He also worked with leading garden equipment manufacturers to emphasise how dangerous strimmers and mowers can be to his favourite garden creatures.

In addition, he has been instrumental in helping one hardware company develop hedgehog-friendly fencing, a range that will soon be stocked in their stores nationwide.

Congratulating Dylan on his award, Secretary of State for Wales David TC Davies said: "Dylan's dedication to conservation is hugely impressive and this award is richly deserved."