Army beneficary celebrates Hedgehog Awareness Week

From left, Jim Thompson, chairman of ANNEC, Carole Catchpole, from Northumbrian Hedgehog Rescue Trust, and Gazette editor Paul Larkin.

From left, Jim Thompson, chairman of ANNEC, Carole Catchpole, from Northumbrian Hedgehog Rescue Trust, and Gazette editor Paul Larkin.

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One of the beneficiaries of the 2016 Jam Jar Army campaign held a series of events during a special awareness week this month.

The first week in May is designated Hedgehog Awareness Week so it was a perfect opportunity for Northumbrian Hedgehog Rescue Trust, which is based in Longframlington and run by Carole Catchpole, to hold some events.

This year, there are two Army charities, after they drew the public vote, with the other being Abbeyfield North Northumberland Extra Care Society (ANNEC), which runs Abbeyfield House in Alnwick.

On Monday, May 2, the hedgehog charity arranged a fund-raising day at Heighley Gate Garden Centre, near Morpeth, which proved very successful.

The volunteers involved – Debbie, Cherry, Hils and Lynn – were kept busy all day selling various hoggy items and the children loved the hedgehog game.

Carole said: “As well as raising much-needed funds to care for the numerous hedgehogs at the centre, we were also able to give people advice about helping hedgehogs in their gardens and when to spot a hog needing help.

“This obviously proved successful as we had someone from Washington who had been at Heighley Gate and picked up one of our leaflets, only to find the following weekend they saw a hedgehog in distress while out walking their dog and brought her to us.”

The week ended at The Alnwick Garden on Saturday, May 7, where the staff organised a hedgehog event aimed mainly at young people and invited the Trust to be there in an advisory role.

“We were more than happy to help and two of our volunteers, Betty and Colin, spent the day there dispensing good advice regarding hedgehogs,” Carole said.

“This was not a fund-raising event for us, but we were pleased to answer the many queries people have regarding our prickly friends.

“Most people now understand bread and milk is bad for them, but know little else, such as a hedgehog seen out during daylight hours is usually in distress and needs help.”

During the recent spell of good weather, the charity has been releasing hedgehogs back into the wild, but unfortunately they seem to be taking in just as many.