Be a Hedgehog Hero
While lots of the aspects of Mr Prickles’s character are based on fact, and the information given in reference to him is accurate, it’s important to remember that he is a one-off. Hedgehogs are wild animals. They shouldn’t be kept as pets and only live in forever homes when they have disabilities that mean they wouldn’t survive in the wild. Hedgehogs are also vulnerable – the number of hedgehogs living in the UK is declining rapidly and we need to help them as much as we can. They are truly special animals, each with a unique appearance and colourful personality. While writing this book I was lucky enough to spend time with some gorgeous hedgehogs and hoglets, all of them in need of care – not healthy or resilient enough to survive the winter, or suffering injuries caused by gardening tools or other animals. So I’d like to ask you all to please become hedgehog heroes.
I was really excited to be told by Poppy's Hedgehogs that they have named this hoglet Jennifer in my honour. Isn't she adorable?!
Here are some ways you can help:
Hedgehogs are nocturnal – if you see a hedgehog out and about during the day, it probably needs help. Keep it warm and contact your nearest hedgehog rescue for advice.
Hedgehogs need to roam! You can help them by making hedgehog-sized holes in your fences so that they can move between gardens.
Providing food and a safe place to sleep can be life-saving for hedgehogs. Allow part of your garden to grow wild and build a hedgehog house with a small opening for them to come and go. Leaving shallow bowls of water and chicken-based cat or dog food outside will encourage hedgehogs to visit you. Please don’t give them milk – it makes them poorly.