Bradfordians are encouraged to help keep baby hedgehogs safe as the nights get darker this Autumn.

Last year hedgehog numbers stood at just one million, considerably lower than the 30 million recorded back in the 1950s.

Covering drains and holes and placing bricks around ponds can stop hedgehogs from getting stuck. Leave a little dish of dog or cat food to keep their bellies full - best placed in a quiet, covered area before dusk. Fresh water left in shallow, non-tip dishes will give hedgehogs in your garden access to clean water but never leave milk.

If you find a hurt hog, contact a specialist group or, wearing gardening gloves, place the animal in a cardboard box with high sides, lined with a towel and scrunched up newspaper.

An overgrown garden can help hedgehogs hide and snuffle for insects. Build a little home using a cardboard box with a little cutout, stone on top. Or, buy a ready made home.

A spokesperson for said: “It’s such a shame, but unfortunately hedgehog numbers are declining in Britain.

“These mammals play a vital part in our ecosystem but can often be hurt in our gardens.

“As many as ten different hedgehogs can visit any one garden over the course of a few nights, so it’s important to try and help them survive and thrive in the great outdoors."

“The breeding season is in May and June, so young hedgehogs will soon be out and exploring gardens.

“As such, it’s important that we help feed and look after them.”