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Copyright Elliott & Thompson

There is a super book out on 18 February - ‘Spring’ edited by Melissa Harrison. The book will help to raise funds for the Wildlife Trusts around the UK. Spring is a very gentle and positive topic that I am sure will appeal to members.

SYNOPSIS - Reproduced with permission from Elliott & Thompson Limited

It is a time of awakening. In our -fields, hedgerows and woodlands, our beaches, cities and parks, an almost imperceptible shift soon becomes a riot of sound and colour: winter ends, and life surges forth once more. Whether in town or country, we all share in this natural rhythm, in the joy and anticipation of the changing year.; In prose and poetry both old and new, Spring mirrors the unfolding of the season, inviting us to see what's around us with new eyes. Featuring original writing by Rob Cowen, Miriam Darlington and Stephen Moss, classic extracts from the work of George Orwell, Clare Leighton and H. E. Bates, and fresh new voices from across the UK, this is an original and inspiring collection of nature writing that brings the British springtime to life in all its vivid glory.

Our good friend and contributor Kate Long has a chapter about hedgehogs included in the book. Below is a small extract of the first few paragraphs to whet your appetite!

Spring arrives differently in the night garden. Much of the action happens while humans are tucked up inside with the curtains drawn shut against the chilly dark. But around the time frogs spawn – or perhaps a little earlier if we’ve had a balmy spell – the hedgehogs return.

‘I remember hedgehogs,’ people say. ‘You used to see them all the time, but not now. There are none left round our way.’ It’s true that the population’s suffered a dramatic decline, from 36 million in the 1950s to less than one million today. And yet for all that there are still tens of thousands of us who share our lives with hedgehogs. We just don’t always realise it.

Because hedgehogs are nocturnal, they’re easy to overlook. They’re unassuming animals, not given to draw attention to themselves unless caught up in the throes of grunty sex. When the crocuses shrivel and flop like deflated balloons and the forsythia comes into bloom, I go searching for scat on the lawn. Hog poo consists of small, neat, inoffensive chipolatas that are black or dark brown and often glittery with beetle remains. You’ll find them deposited in the borders or tucked away against the hedge. As soon as I spot the first one, I set up my Bushnell trail cam and break out the peanuts. Monitoring can begin.

My thanks to Elliott and Thompson and Kate Long.

Available to pre order now from Amazon.

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