Friday, 28 June 2013
Here's my contribution to the campaign to elect the humble hedgehog as Britain's national species. Yes, I know this little bundle of 7,000 spines is established through much of Europe, but for me there is still something quintessentially British about this captivating creature, so very much a part of our literature and our folklore. Furthermore, the hedgehog desperately needs our help – its numbers have dropped catastrophically from 30 million in the 1950s to below 1 million today. To place that in context, it means the hedgehog's decline is on a par with the plight of the tiger. This specimen – a confident and very active male – was shot for my column in The English Home magazine, which in September looks at how householders can help stem the drastic fall in hedgehog numbers. Its release from the PACT animal sanctuary in Norfolk was postponed for a day so I could photograph it and the little wonder obliged by coming towards the click-click-click of my camera's shutter each time I took a shot. Such a rewarding couple of hours.