Amazing Grace PR 28th April 2017
Windlesham - The ‘Hedgehog Friendly” Village The Surrey village of Windlesham was originally a farming outset of the Great Windsor Park. The village took its name from the River Windle running to the south of the village and the old english word, ham, meaning homestead.
The village was perhaps best known for having the most expensive house in Britain, the £75 million (2007), 103 bedroomed, 5 swimming pooled, Updown Court, set in 58 acres of Surrey’s native heath and woodland.
Today, Windlesham is about to become Britain’s first ‘Hedgehog Friendly Village’ as part of a campaign called Amazing Grace launched by Harper Asprey Wildlife Rescue who are based in the village. Anne Brummer, trustee of Harper Asprey takes up the story;
“The whole campaign is based on an incredible female hedgehog named Grace. Grace came to the rescue with a nasty wound on her neck and suffering from ‘fly-strike’. After treatment, Grace made a full recovery but would need to ‘over-winter’ at the rescue before being released back to the wild in the spring”.
“Grace is a very inquisitive hedgehog, with a real spirit for adventure. She was soon a favourite with our volunteers who clean the animals daily, a few days later she won the heart of one of the world’s greatest guitarists, Dr. Brian May from Queen, who has been a long term supporter of the rescue centre”.
Anne and Brian knew that hedgehog numbers in Britain were in rapid decline and that they needed some help. Grace inspired them to help save Britain’s hedgehogs starting by making their home village of Windlesham ‘Hedgehog Friendly”
Anne takes up the story; “Hedgehog’s are one of the UK’s favourite animals, many people have fond memories of seeing and hearing the ‘snuffly-snorts’ of hedgehog’s feeding in their gardens in the evening, but so many people tell us that they haven’t seen one for a while, in fact, often in a very long while.
“Brian has a life long love for wild animals and is very ‘hands-on’ at the Rescue whenever his busy schedule allows. Brian has some special memories of hedgehogs from his childhood but also in his later life, he joked that he could see similarities in the life of a hedgehog and that of a rockstar - often being up all night and asleep all day - in fact, Brian was so impressed when he met Grace that he recorded his special version of the traditional song Amazing Grace with his friend Kerry Ellis on vocals”.
“Grace has visited all the schools in the village and has also been to meet our MP, Michael Gove, members of the Windlesham Parish Council and some of businesses based in the village. Grace has been the catalyst that has bought our village community together”.
The way we live has changed so much over the last 50 years but some of the changes have made it very difficult for hedgehogs to survive, but fortunately, there are lots of things that you can do to make your garden ‘hedgehog friendly”
GFG’s - Grace friendly gardens
We have lots of suggestions on how you can make your garden ‘Grace friendly', for instance, have you got wooden fence panels in your garden? If you have, you may not have seen hedgehog’s for a while, even if you used to, that’s because they cannot get in or out anymore. But there is a simple solution; make a 5 inch (125mm) square hole - that’s about the size of a CD jewel case - that will act as an entrance and exit tunnel for your hedgehog’s, but that’s just the start, like all wild animals hedgehog’s need a reliable source of food and water.
If you have resident hedgehogs in your garden, please record them on our interactive map, available on our website. The data we receive from you is a vital part of helping to make Windlesham a hedgehog friendly village. Link to map here:
There are lots more tips and guidance available on our website - www.hawr.co.uk - better still, why not come and see us -
“We are hosting the first Windlesham Village Hedgehog Day in the garden of The Sun Public House on Saturday 29th April 2017 from 10am. Everyone is welcome to come along and meet Grace and some of her friends. It will be a fun-filled day with lots of tips and practical advice on how to make your garden ‘Grace friendly’. We’d really love to see you. Don’t forget to ask any questions you have about hedgehog’s, wildlife or wildlife gardens."
For more information about the Amazing Grace Hedgehog project or the work of Harper Asprey Wildlife Rescue please visit our website - www.hawr.co.uk
If you find a sick or injured wild animal or bird please call 01344 623106
Harper Asprey Wildlife Rescue is a registered charity (RCN 1143603) based in Windlesham. It was founded by Anne Brummer after she found a hedgehog trapped in fencing on the way to work one morning over thirty years ago.
The centre is run entirely by volunteers and operates 365 days a year. HAWR rescue, rehabilitate and release all wildlife, from foxes and badgers, to deer and toads, owls and swans, bats and snakes. If it is wild and needs help, you can count on us. They also run an Education project in local schools and will soon be employing a dedicated Hedgehog Officer to develop the campaign.
Anne Brummer is available for media interviews. Please contact 01344 623106