Grace is the hoglet that inspired a Rock God and the entire campaign! Grace was found with a neck wound. She came to Harper Asprey Wildlife Rescue where her deep cut was cleaned - she had 'flystrike' (myiasis) and tiny maggots had already started hatching. Some of the fly eggs and maggots were found inside her mouth. Just eight hours after being laid, fly eggs can hatch into maggots and start feeding on their host. They can be destroyed in stomach acid but can also continue to eat the host alive. In nature this process is essential for removing dead and decaying animal matter from the environment, but on a live animal it is often fatal.
Grace made an amazing recovery whilst in our care and showed the same fight and strength we typically see from hedgehogs; they are stoic. She stole our hearts during her stay and because of her inspiring recovery, Grace has become the star of the #AmazingGrace campaign to save the U.K.'s hedgehogs and ensure that they are able to establish healthy, thriving populations.
Grace and her friends are quiet literally living on the hedge or should I say edge. Grace's population is declining at an alarming rate. Once a common garden visitor, the population of hedgehogs in the UK has declined from 30 million in the 1950's to fewer than 1 million today - at that rate they may be threatened with extinction by 2025. Habitat loss, intensive farming, new development projects and increased road traffic are just a few of the many threats facing hedgehogs and other wildlife. For wildlife to thrive they need only two things: a safe habitat to live and breed in and food. If either is destroyed, their numbers will decline. Considering the alarming rate at which we are destroying both, it is amazing that Grace and hedgehogs like her are able to survive at all. She really is amazing!
Our goal is to help Grace and her friends so that their population can recover and reach sustainable levels, with reduced threat to their collective survival. At Harper Asprey Wildlife Rescue we have treated hedgehogs for over 30 years and have seen shifts in the reasons for admissions, as new threats associated with our ever-changing and increasingly modern world become more prevalent. Lungworm has become more common in the environment and hogs have shown greater susceptibility, gardens have become less welcoming as mowers and strimmers mutilate unsuspecting hedgehogs, pesticides poison hedgehogs and their food supply and the list goes on.
Rescued hedgehogs like Grace need a safe home to be released in, but we have seen a massive decline in safe, sustainable environments for her and her friends. We therefore must do all we can to help the hedgehogs - but we need your help. Please join us and make your space Grace friendly. You may be able to introduce plants that attract the food she needs, buy her a new home, remove hazards from your workplace or garden and connect green spaces and gardens with simple access routes for her. With your help we can save Grace and halt the decline of British hedgehogs. Please help her and, in doing so, you will be helping lots of other wildlife. Check out the hazards that affect her and follow 'Grace's Five Point Charter' to support hedgehogs in your village. Help stop Grace and her friends from living on the edge and get theme firmly back in the hedge where they belong!