14/4/2014 I could not have thought of a better way to remember my dad on the first anniversary of his death than to release a rescued hedgehog in the garden. Last summer I came across a lady who ran a hedgehog rescue in her home in Ipswich. She had a stall at the owl sanctuary at Stonham Barns, with a box of six baby hedgehogs who were representing their fellow pricklies.
Of course I couldn’t resist having a rather un-cuddly cuddle: apart from the prickles, they were also surprisingly quick! I asked where rescued hedgehogs were released and she said in people’s gardens (chosen for their suitability). I gave her my contact details, not at all expecting to hear from her again, as I thought half of Suffolk must volunteer their gardens for hedgehog release.
So, by the time April came and the lady rang to tell me the hedgehogs had come out of hibernation and gained enough weight to be released, I had completely forgotten about this encounter and was over the moon at the prospect. We used to find hedgehogs all the time as children, but it has been at least 20 years now since I last saw one in the garden, so it was extra special to hear him huffing and puffing his way into the undergrowth when I released him in the dark and wished him well. I thought I might see him again but he was gone by the morning and sadly hasn’t been back to visit!