hedgehog takes up residence at Secret World near Burnham
World Wildlife Rescue cares for hundreds of hedgehogs each year,
so is no stranger to these much-loved creatures, but now a very
special hedgehog has taken up residence at the wildlife centre
beautiful new work of art by street artist ATM will be on show
to the public for the first time at Secret Worlds Spines
and Shells open weekend on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th July.
larger-than-life hedgehog has been painted on a wall at Secret
World in order to help draw the publics attention to the
decline of the native prickly mammal, voted Britains national
species, and how we can help protect it.
is unusual for ATM to paint in the countryside because he usually
works in urban areas. He paints endangered birds, insects and
other creatures in the places where they once lived to raise awareness
of their plight and to inspire people to restore or create habitat
where these creatures could once again flourish.
so many once-common British animals and birds are disappearing
at an alarming rate, it is vitally important that we reconnect
our children with the natural world and all its wonders,"
an age of virtual reality and the seductive power of computer
screens in all their forms, this is both very challenging and
essential. The declines of hedgehogs and so many birds and insects
are so rapid and dramatic that a massive change in our behaviour
along with song thrushes and so many other small birds, fall victim
to the excessive use of slug pellets and pesticides in our gardens
and allotments. It has to be remembered that as we kill these
insects and other invertebrates that feed on our flowers and vegetables,
we are also killing the creatures that naturally eat them, the
hedgehogs and birds. "
message has to be reinforced, as no doubt most gardeners and allotment-keepers
also lament the disappearance of these beloved and once-familiar
garden creatures. A big wall painting of a hedgehog in a very
public place will be of great appeal to children, it will inspire
them to think about hedgehogs and encourage them to ask questions
about them and what they need."
World cared for over 500 rescued hedgehogs last year, and is currently
caring for 18 adult hedgehogs on site and 57 juvenile hedgehogs
some of these youngsters are being looked after by carers
Carer Trudi added: "Our aim is always to release hedgehogs
back into the wild wherever possible. Its important to make
sure they have gained enough weight and are old enough before
they can be released, particularly later in the year as hibernation
in the wild they face many challenges including loss of habitat
and loss of access to food as more and more of us enclose our
gardens. An important part of Secret Worlds work is to help
people understand how we can all encourage hedgehogs, by making
our gardens accessible, creating wildlife corners for example
with a simple woodpile, and avoiding hazards, like fruit netting
too close to the ground which they can get caught up in. So, learning
about hedgehogs is a really important part of hedgehog protection."
Hampson, Learning and Outreach Manager at Secret World, said:
"We are so excited to have this amazing work of art on our
wall here at Secret World. The hedgehog will be a wonderful discussion
point for our upcoming learning programme with school groups when
they visit us, so they can learn about the decline of our native
British hedgehogs and what they can do to help. These school visits
are part of our Heritage Lottery Funded learning programme to
reconnect children with our rural heritage. Visitors to Secret
World this weekend will also see the great progress we are making
on the exciting restoration of a Grade II Listed barn on-site
that will become our Learning Centre to host these school visits."
World is open from 10am-4pm for the Spines and Shells
open weekend. Entry is free but donations will be gratefully received.
Visitors can meet hedgehogs, tortoises, birds of prey and other
animals, and enjoy activities for all and on-site catering.