When North Devon Animal Ambulance needed help to rescue a hedgehog from under a cattle grid, Hatherleigh fire station’s crew came to the rescue.

Fire fighters from Hatherleigh took part in their first hedgehog rescue this weekend.

Diana Lewis, of North Devon Animal Ambulance (NDAA), called on the assistance of the station when she was called to Merton on Saturday.

A woman had reported a hedgehog stuck under a cattle grid to NDAA, which had been there for a few days.

The woman told Diana: "It must have been trying to walk over and fell in, but when you reach in to pick it up it curls itself into a tight ball and makes itself too big to come back up through the bars."

The fire team from Hatherleigh helping to rescue the trapped hedgehog in Merton. Pictures: Diana LewisThe fire team from Hatherleigh helping to rescue the trapped hedgehog in Merton. Pictures: Diana Lewis

Diana knew the only way to get him out would be to life the cattle grid, so she called on the fire station for help.

The fire service took the opportunity for a training session using their hydraulic lifting gear - usually used in road traffic collisions.

Very slowly, the crew lifted the cattle grid until it was high enough for the little hedgehog to be lifted out.

Diana checked him over straight away and put him in the ambulance with food and water.

The fire team from Hatherleigh helping to rescue the trapped hedgehog in Merton. Pictures: Diana LewisThe fire team from Hatherleigh helping to rescue the trapped hedgehog in Merton. Pictures: Diana Lewis

She said he was weak and hungry, but would hopefully be fine in a few days.

She added: "I know they use these cases as a valuable training exercise, but we are so grateful for their expertise and their compassion towards the animals."