THE head of a hedgehog rescue group is calling for a solution to be found after animals have been continually found dead among rubbish near a Poole river.

Tracy Dunne, who has run the Hamworthy Hedgehog Rescue group for the past three and half years, said she has now saved eight hedgehogs from the grassed area near Rock Lea River while others have been found dead over the past 18 months.

Birds and other animals are often discovered trapped in fish nets in the middle of the rubbish pile, which includes a fridge freezer, a kayak and several tyres.

Ms Dunne, who lives in nearby Turlin Moor, said: “Some of the residents have been collecting up the rubbish and piling it together because they were told it would be taken away.

“We have now cut out eight hedgehogs from their in the past 18 months and they were all tangled up in fishing nets.

“A lot of it has been there over a year. I first contacted the council about it 14 months ago.

“I know it is not the council’s fault but it has been left there and it should be taken it away. It is really upsetting, distressing and annoying. When you spend your life trying to save hedgehogs and they have died round there, it is just terrible.”

Hamworthy ward councillor Julie Bagwell was made aware of the situation and is working with officers to attempt to improve the long-term issues, with hopes of a camera being installed to deter fly-tipping.

She said the area is popular with fishermen and a solution was needed to provide somewhere for them to place and store their nets that would not harm animals.

“No one wants to see fly-tipping,” said Cllr Bagwell. “I am a resident myself and I am sure nobody wants fly-tipping where they live but we are working to find solutions.

“In an ideal world people would go to the tip with their rubbish but they don’t and they don’t necessarily think before they do these things.

“There are already members of the community working to collect rubbish. It would be fantastic to see more people helping them and doing the same. I know the council and officers would appreciate it and they would be able to arrange to collect what is picked up if an event was organised.”

Cllr Bagwell said it was extremely sad to see animals had been harmed and hoped residents and the council could work together on the matter.

“Everyone needs to be working together to find solutions to make it a better place for everyone and everything,” she said.

“Officers are working hard and I am supporting them.”