25th Apr, 2017

Young hedgehog carers to feature on BBC show Countryfile

Catherine Thompson 21st Apr, 2017 Updated: 21st Apr, 2017

A HEDGEHOG caring trio from Stratford are to feature on prime time television this weekend.

Eleven year-old girls – Kyra Barboutis, Eve Green and Sophie Smith – will feature on BBC1’s Countryfile chatting to presenter Ellie Harris about their work caring for injured and poorly hedgehogs before releasing them back into the wild when recovered.

Ellie will also be showing her appreciation of Hedgehog Friendly Town – the girls’ project which started life in Kyra’s garden – by helping them spring-clean its resident’s houses.

Since the project began last summer, the dedicated trio have rescued and treated numerous hedgehogs, provided presentations and workshops to local nursery schools, and more recently the girls went to B&Q to talk about the dangers strimmers pose to hedgehogs – prompting the store to put warning stickers on all its display models.

Their campaign even saw a hedgehog hotel built in the garden at Anne Hathaway’s Cottage. The team who regularly monitor the grounds to check for a wild hedgehogs, now release hedgehogs that can’t be released back to the areas they were found into the garden turned hedgehog haven.

With reports of the number of wild British hedgehogs in decline, there is a push to to ensure there are safe places for the prickly creatures to call home.

Glyn Jones, head of gardens at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, said: “I read with interest on social media that three local girls had become involved with rescuing and nurturing poorly hedgehogs, and knew the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust could support their cause.

“I find projects like this massively inspirational, especially working with the three girls who have shown such fantastic, caring and nurturing spirits.

Proud mum Helen Barboutis, has been fully supportive and involved with the girls’ campaign from its humble beginnings.

She said: “It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster. A simple summer project has developed into a life changing adventure. The girls enthusiasm has stayed as focused and I don’t know any other 11 year-olds that have taken on such a responsibility. Cleaning them out and caring for them daily all for no reward as the hedgehogs don’t appreciate it. They are just keen to get well then return to wild.”

Catch the girl’s on Sunday April 30 episode of Countryfile at 7pm. It will also be available on iplayer.

Visit www.facebook.com/hedgehogfriendlytown/ for further details on the project.