Airshow Aids Ailing Animals


This year saw the return of the Farnborough International Airshow with another amazing display of aircraft, including the well known Red Arrow display team. Little did the airborne acrobatic flyers realise that they were unknowingly helping to rescue ailing animals on the ground. A local hedgehog rescue – The Happy Hedgehog Rescue in Yateley has reported an increased number of hedgehogs brought to the rescue during the weeks of the show,taking in 14 hedgehogs in from Farnborough alone.
“This wasn’t obvious at first.” said Jayne from the Happy Hedgehog Rescue. “There is a reasonable hedgehog population in Farnborough and we do get hedgehogs in from there throughout the year but when filling out the admission forms and address details it became obvious that there was a sudden influx from that area during the period of the show.” It would appear that the pleasant weather and the opportunity to watch the flying display bought more people into their back gardens and as a result more hedgehogs were found . Jayne contacted Airshow organisers Farnborough International Ltd (FIL) to let them know of her discovery.
Speaking about the discovery, Shaun Ormrod, Chief Executive for FIL said “The gardens of our local residents have always provided a great vantage point to view the flying display. We are pleased that the airshow has had such a positive impact in this way and helped to save so many of our local hedgehogs.
Jayne added “It is so good that the people have realised that A HEDGEHOG OUT IN THE DAY IS IN TROUBLE AND NEEDS HELP!” When hedgehogs are seen out in the day people often think it’s cute and don’t realise the hog is really poorly until it appears to be sunbathing on the lawn etc. Hedgehogs DON’T sunbathe! At this stage they are a lot harder to save as they have been ill for quite some time. Wild animals hide their illness to discourage predation. Hedgehogs struggle to gain access to many gardens these days as we fence ourselves in and this means they have access to less possible food. Hedgehogs are great for the garden and are a gardener’s friend by eating many of the bad bugs.
Interestingly Jayne says “Over half the diet of a hedgehog is beetles and caterpillers and they struggle to find these in our too tidy gardens. They do eat alot of slugs and snails but a lesser percentage and too many of these can actually make the hogs ill.” We can all help our prickly friends by just doing one thing, ACCESS – making holes in and under fences, leaving a pile of leaves for nesting material under a shrub, leaving a shallow bowl of water on the ground, especially in the hot dry weather and of course feeding them. Supplementary feeding and water can make the difference between life or death for a struggling hedgehog. There are many hedgehog foods available in pet stores or even small cat/dog biscuits (not fish)are suitable. Jayne says “Manage what you feed as you don’t want to be feeding the local cat population so create a feeding station. This can be an upturned plastic box with a 4”sq hole in it at the base and the dried cat biscuits at the back of the box in a shallow bowl, or a hedgehog box proper, or a paving slab and bricks. Pauline in Farnborough has outwitted the local foxes by using a 5” pipe with a sealed end. It can be great fun seeing the nightly visitors and often the single hedgehog can turn into many once they realise their local pop up restaurant has opened up. Jayne says it is so important that we create a better habitat for the hedgehogs as they are doing so badly – HELP SAVE A HEDGEHOG TODAY – ACCESS = WATER AND FOOD and a HOME
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