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Surrey Heath’s Hedgehog Improvement Area (HIA), keeps getting bigger - and now Lightwater is becoming ‘Hedgehog Friendly” The Amazing Grace campaign is working to save Britain’s hedgehogs, one village at a time as they are in dramatic decline.
The once familiar hedgehog is a rare sight for many these days - sadly, many of us have not seen one of our favourite wild animals in recent years. In fact, the hedgehog population has declined by around 33% since the year 2000 and the numbers are still dropping.
The Amazing Grace campaign is making Surrey Heath, Britain’s first Hedgehog Friendly Borough. Windlesham became the first Hedgehog Friendly village and work is ongoing in Heatherside and Parkside, and on Saturday 9th June 2018, Grace and her team started work in Lightwater and Bagshot by holding a community fun day at the Red Lion.
Anne Brummer, Trustee and founder of Harper Asprey Wildlife Rescue said: “We have delivered a leaflet to every house in Lightwater and Bagshot to invite everyone to the Grace day and tell them why it is so important to save hedgehogs”. “The Red Lion is the perfect venue with its wonderful garden - that was an ideal area for hedgehogs - and a great place for people - so we were delighted to see so many people join us on the day”
Grace the Hedgehog soon had the motorists on the Guildford Road tooting their car horns in a show of support as she stood outside the Red Lion to greet people as they arrived. She has become a self-styled “selfie star’ and loves for a good picture opportunity with some of her new friends before setting off to the shops in Lightwater for an appointment at the hairdressers - Grace always like to look at her best - before picking up some vital supplies in Budgens - We're not too sure what Grace was doing in the bookmakers - she said she was chatting to the customers but we have our suspicions!
The garden area was soon full of people keen to find out how they can help. Grace and her friends are asking everyone to do something - because if everyone did one thing - they know that the gardens and green spaces of Lightwater and Bagshot would be so much better for our local hedgehogs.
Whilst parents were helping save the hedgehogs (and enjoying the food and drink at the Red Lion) - the children were kept busy at the creative arts table with some of the best work displayed on the wall for the day. Some of the children helped to create a hedgehog song that Linda played on her ukulele.
All music fans had a chance to win a framed hedgehog print signed by Queen legend Brian May in the raffle. The winner was Yvette Jones.
The wonderful volunteers or ‘Hoggie Helpers’ as always, did a great job on the merchandise stand with the cuddly Grace the hedgehog toy being the most popular item on the day closely followed by this years must have fashion item - the Amazing Grace T-shirt - be sure to get yours soon! If you missed us on the day you can order via our online shop here:
Anne Brummer said: ‘A huge thank you to everyone who came to meet Grace the Hedgehog, we hope you enjoyed your day but don’t forget -it'd so important that everyone does something to help hedgehogs” Anne continued: “We love these fun days but there is a serious side to this work. We will now begin surveying the area for hedgehogs and creating open access for them to roam, forage and feed” “It’s vital for hedgehogs that they can find natural food water and shelter as we begin to connect the isolated populations in the area”.
If you live in Surrey Heath we have hedgehog officers waiting to visit your space and help you be Grace friendly call 01344 623106 and request a home or office visit
Amazing Grace is a joint campaign to save Britain’s hedgehogs. It is run by Harper Asprey Wildlife Rescue with the support of Dr Brian May’s Save Me Trust and British Hedgehog Preservation Society. The Surrey Heath Hedgehog improvement Area is working to make Surrey Heath, Britain’s first Hedgehog Friendly Borough.
For more information about the charities supporting Amazing Grace please visit:
Harper Asprey Wildlife Rescue www.hawr.co.uk
Dr Brian May’s Save Me Trust www.savemetrust.org
British Hedgehog Preservation Society www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk