WHEN Pearl and Lynne Appleby changed the name of their modest semi from No 56 to Hog Haven, they meant it.

Pearl, 80, and her daughter Lynne have 67 hedgehogs in their Redcar home-cum-sanctuary, which is cluttered with boxes, newspapers and hedgehog feed.

Such has been the pair's contribution to animal welfare that they have received a prize from their community.

The mother and daughter, who fund the £3,000 a year they need to run the sanctuary, were presented with the Mayor's Community Achievement Award last week.

Since 1989, they have cared for 842 hedgehogs brought to their door.

Lynne has also been involved in a failed campaign to halt a cull of more than 5,000 hedgehogs over-running the Outer Hebrides islands of North Uist, South Uist and Benbecula.

Lynne said: "I've always been very interested in animals. As a child, I had every type of pet you could think of, and I've always had a thing about hedgehogs. They seem to respond to me.

"My father wouldn't have a hedgehog in the house - understandably because they carry about 100 different types of fleas.

"But not long after he died somebody moved a shed near our home and three hedgehogs literally presented themselves on our doorstep and we've never stopped since."

She believes that she and her mother have the only registered hedgehog sanctuary north of York and have had people drive from as far away as Stratford-upon-Avon with a hedgehog.

Many that they look after have been abused, often so badly that they cannot be returned to the wild. One they are looking after at present is a rare blond male, which was burned with cigarettes.