Prickly encounter as hedgehogs are celebrated at Shepreth Wildlife Park

PUBLISHED: 17:02 04 September 2015

Eight year old Sophie Symonds with Francesca Savage, 6,  with nine week old Gollum. PICTURES: Clive Porter.

Eight year old Sophie Symonds with Francesca Savage, 6, with nine week old Gollum. PICTURES: Clive Porter.

Archant

T he persistent rain on Monday failed to dampen the spirits of visitors who turned up for the annual Hedgehog Day at Shepreth Wildlife Park.

Hedgehog Day by Clive PorterHedgehog Day by Clive Porter

The event is intended to remind the public of the great vulnerability of the ever dwindling population of hogs in the UK, while raising much needed funds for the prickly creatures.

The day’s activities ranged from instructive talks in the Adventure House, to hands on duties for children at the hospital itself, which included cleaning out the temporary housing of the little critters and weighing in the new patients.

Delighted Sophie Symonds watches the antics of Gollum. PICTURE: Clive Porter.Delighted Sophie Symonds watches the antics of Gollum. PICTURE: Clive Porter.

There was also fun and games to be had with a bouncy castle, hog toy sale, cake sale and craft and games tent.

The visitors received expert advice from hospital manager Tash Ennew, who has been involved since the opening three years ago.

Nine week old Gollum checks out to make sure that Clive has his details correct. PICTURE: Clive Porter.Nine week old Gollum checks out to make sure that Clive has his details correct. PICTURE: Clive Porter.

Tash and her capable staff of volunteers gave demonstrations and encouragement to those keen on adopting the endangered species.

More than £1,000 was raised for the hedgehog hospital, which also saw a presentation held by hospital patron and hedgehog guru Hugh Warwick.

Checking 11 week old Maisit's weight. PICTURE: Clive Porter.Checking 11 week old Maisit's weight. PICTURE: Clive Porter.

A spokeman for the wildlife park said: “Thank you to everyone who came and supported us, and also to those who continue to support the good work of our hedgehog warriors.”

The number of hedgehogs in Britain has declined as quickly as tigers worldwide. Reasons range from use of herbicides to loss of hedgerows and grasslands.

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