ANIMAL protection bodies are concerned that the present run of record temperatures is putting wildlife at risk - and are asking people to give a helping hand to ensure its survival.
Like all living things, Birds and mammals need more water in hot weather. But in many areas, ponds, ditches and small streams are drying up, making the search more difficult, if not impossible.
Gardeners are being asked to lay out water and check it at least twice a day because of rapid evaporation. And one popular species - known to millions of readers of children's books as Prickles - is in special danger.
Hedgehogs depend for much of their food on slugs and snails, which makes them the gardener's friend. But these burrowdeep into the soil in a heat wave, out of reach of foraging prickles.
To make matters worse, female hedgehogs will be feeding their young at present, facing even greater demand for both water and food. The British Hedgehog Preservation Society is urging gardeners to leave out water, meat-based dog food or, the very best of all, chopped unsalted nuts