As part of Itchen Valley Country Park’s campaign to encourage residents to help their neighbourhood hedgehogs, Hedgehog Day was held on Sunday, 4 November in its Kingfisher Barn.
The event to celebrate the humble ’hog was run in partnership with New Forest Wildlife Park and included a clay hedgehog craft session, a badge-making session, and a Hedgehog Quiz to encourage children to explore the park area of the Kingfisher and Highwood Barns – learning facts about ’hogs along the way. The first children who complete the quiz were awarded with a free child admission ticket to the New Forest Wildlife Park.
There was also a video of Hedgehog Street’s info slides and the award-winning awareness video – Hedgehog Close, playing in the barn throughout the event.
Special guests on the day were Sonic, the wildlife park’s Western European Hedgehog and Mrs Pickles, an African Pygmy Hedgehog brought in by a friend of the country park. It was touch and go as to whether they would make an appearance due to the dip in temperatures over the previous week and the instinct to hibernate, but fortunately it was warm enough on the day.
It was a great opportunity for children to find out more about wild and pet hedgehogs by real experts. Both Sonic and Mrs Pickles were the stars of the show and allowed an up-close experience for delighted visitors.
Hedgehog Day is part of the country park’s ‘Is your Garden Hog Happy?’ campaign (#HogHappyGarden), which started on 1 October, to help hedgehogs in the local area. It will run over the next year, particularly in spring and autumn, when we can help hedgehogs the most. Learn more about this campaign and the national Hedgehog Street campaign.