Tackling a prickly subject in the Harborough district - with a great deal of care!

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A “Hedgehog How-De-Doo” held at Arthingworth village hall drew a crowd of more than 30 from Arthingworth and surrounding villages.

Villagers Sue Wood, Gail Courtney and Sophia Courtney, who organised the event held on on Wednesday, May 3, said: “We love hedgehogs and wanted to do something to coincide with national Hedgehog Awareness Week that would help draw attention to the plight of one of our country’s most endearing but vulnerable creatures – Britain’s hedgehog population has dropped from an estimated 30 million in the 1950s to fewer than one million today.

Top: Colleen Powell of Helping Hedgehogs in Leicester, Ann Charlton of Leicestershire Wildlife Hospital, Gail Courtney, Sophia Courtney and Sue Wood. Above: The hedgehogs meet the audience! Photos by Phil Courtney (www.philcourtneyphotography.co.uk).

Top: Colleen Powell of Helping Hedgehogs in Leicester, Ann Charlton of Leicestershire Wildlife Hospital, Gail Courtney, Sophia Courtney and Sue Wood. Above: The hedgehogs meet the audience! Photos by Phil Courtney (www.philcourtneyphotography.co.uk).

“It was also a chance to raise much-needed funds for two brilliant local rescue centres – thanks to the generosity of those attending, we were able to share more than £220 between The Leicestershire Wildlife Hospital based in Kibworth and Helping Hedgehogs in Leicester”.

Colleen Powell from Helping Hedgehogs explained how to make our gardens and villages safer environments for hedgehogs and delighted the audience by bringing along a real-life hedgehog to admire close up.

Sue, Gail and Sophia are now busy constructing a village map showing the growing network of hedgehog-friendly gardens in Arthingworth and hope that others in the area might be inspired to follow suit and become ‘Hedgehog Villages’ themselves.

Sue said: “We were bowled over by the response we had and thank everyone who was involved in planning, organising and attending the event. There are lots of Hedgehog champions out there but we hope even more people will now feel inspired to get involved.

“We would urge everyone to go and make holes in their fences, stop using harmful slug pellets, leave messy piles of leaves and logs for shelter, put out cat or dog food and fresh drinking water … and then just enjoy the sight of these fabulous creatures!”