HUNDREDS of animals are suffering, and even dying, of the heatwave

Oak and Furrows Wildlife Rescue centre took in more than 300 casualties in June who were dying of thirst.

This was a significant portion of the 880 casualties they received during that month.

Serena Stevens, founder of the rescue centre, said: “It’s awful, the casualties are flooding in.

“Hedgehogs especially are really struggling, 90 per cent of the hedgehogs we’ve had brought in were dehydrated.

“Birds and small animals are also finding it tough to survive in this weather.

“It’s very difficult for wildlife to try and find food and fluids when it’s this hot, especially hedgehogs and baby animals who were born in June.”

Graham Taylor has noticed the deadly effect the scorching heat is having on local wildlife.

He said: “My friend found a family of dead hedgehogs who must have died through dehydration.

“I feel distressed and helpless when I look at how arid the landscape’s become for wildlife.

“It seems like weeks now since we last had a drop of rain and I can’t bear to think how desperate the poor creatures must be for a drink.

“It’s easy to ignore what they might be going through day after day as we sit within close reach of running water under air-conditioning.

“Some days I’ve only been venturing outside for a short time before feeling the need to return inside for a cold drink and some respite from the heat.

“I’ve been putting out bowls of water in the hope that they’ll be found but the scale of the problem is very worrying especially there’s still no sign of any rain to come.”

The Wiltshire Wildlife Trust has offered five top tips for helping little critters during this never-ending heatwave.

1: Make a birdbath and ensure that it is full of water.

2: Make sure that plants in your garden are well-watered as they create an essential habitat for butterflies and bees.

3: Leave out food, like soft fruit and vegetables, for hedgehogs and other wildlife.

4: Leave bowls of water out on the ground for larger animals, like hedgehogs and foxes, to drink, and leave eggcups full of water for smaller animals, like bees.

5: Create areas of shade in your garden using objects like fallen tree branches.