Over the weekend, a colleague from the rescue and daughter and I were at Martin Mere, a Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust which is one of the world’s largest and most respected wetland conservation organisations, that is working globally to safeguard and improve wetlands for wildlife and people.
This time I was giving wildlife talks and trying to raise awareness for the rescue and in particular for hedgehogs.
Ten years ago, Britain had 60 million hedgehogs, now we only have a million, a truly shocking statistic. Given this rapid decline I fear for their future and unless something is done urgently, I can easily see them becoming endangered.
Now, daughter was in charge of a game called Clucky dip, a wonderful simple little game which involves kids having to guess which painted eggs sitting in the sandpit are whole, as some are only halves. The child who picks the whole egg is given a prize, and the loser receives a sticker. You wouldn’t believe how popular this game is.
Very soon all three of us became very busy. You’d be surprised how many people have never seen a hedgehog, and how little is actually known about them by the general public. Well, I was halfway through my hedgehog spiel when I heard the most awful screaming……high pitched and full of rage it was.
I spun around, along with my audience, wondering what on earth the ruckus was about, and immediately saw daughter, all ashen faced being screamed at by an enraged little boy. He was stamping his feet and was going a terrifying shade of purple whilst slowly backing away from the Clucky dip. Daughter, who looked distinctly shaken, mumbled something about him being FURIOUS because he hadn’t won a prize. His mother merely walked off and left him to his tantrum.
After a while, the incensed little boy disappeared and life went on. More and more talks were delivered and queue’s of kids formed to play the Clucky dip.
Come lunchtime, I decided to have a potter around Martin Mere. It’s such a fabulous place and you just can’t beat being surrounded by beautiful birds. At one point, as I was happily gazing across a lake, a whole flock of birds swam towards me.
Initially, I thought they were after food…but no! They just ignored me and all began to climb out of the lake in a impressive orderly manner.
And then they just waddled off in a line down the path!
After a very pleasant hour, I returned to our stall to carry on with the wildlife talks. And there to my surprise was the enraged little boy standing a few feet from the Clucky dip with his hands on his hips, giving daughter the evil eye!!! Daughter was well aware of his presence, apparently he’d been popping out of a nearby bush every ten minutes to glare at her….seriously! I’ve never seen such an angry child hanging grimly onto a grudge! He meant business!!!!! Daughter said she fully expected the rottweilers to appear behind him at any moment, and had been seriously tempted to give him a prize just to get shut of him.
And on top of him she’d had another little boy tear his loser’s sticker off his coat, rip it in two and hurl it at her, and another kid, whose father kept paying until his son won a prize…….good for us, but maybe not so good for the child eh…
Anyway, despite a few angry little boys, the day was a huge success. We received lot’s of donations, raised the profile of the rescue and raised awareness with hundreds of people re the plight of hedgehogs, AND…. daughter made £150 on the Clucky dip. Smashin’!
I’d like to say a huge thanks to Jo for the cucumber seeds I recently received, I shall really enjoy growing these next year.
And a big thank you and a hug for Glo for the wonderful information packs she sent me from a rescue near her, where they have bears……yes BEARS, imagine what it must be like caring for them.
And finally, I’m now off to the Lakes for a week so I’ll catch up with you all when I get back……be good now!!!