Dr Brian May’s Windlesham hedgehog week kicked of yesterday with a meet and greet that was popular with residents.

Harper Asprey Wildlife Rescue (aka HAWR) held a hedgehog meet-and-greet at the village’s Sun pub to start an appreciation week backed by the Queen guitarist, who lives in the village.

The week is part of a campaign by the Windlesham-based charity to make it the world’s first ‘hedgehog friendly village’. It all started last year when posters with the hashtag ‘Amazing Grace’ – after a rescue hedgehog – were put up encouraging people to look after the animals.

Villagers are being informed how to keep hedgehogs safe, from building habitats in their garden to ensuring they don’t drown in swimming pools.

Hedgehogs are able to swim, but escaping pools and ponds can be a prickly problem.

Dr May, who is an astrophysicist and supports the Save Me Trust charity said, ‘Surely, we cannot contemplate a future without our ‘spikey’ friends … a few simple changes could make things so much better.’

He has even recorded a version of the song Amazing Grace in support of the animals.

The event was well attended, with residents turning up from 10 in the morning until 11 at night to meet the hedgehogs, and get tips from charity workers. Fame proved too much for one of the baby hedgehogs, however, and he spent much of the afternoon tucked away in a blanket.

You can find out more about how to help hedgehogs at http://www.harperaspreywildliferescue.co.uk/.

-Thomas Hazell, Hampton School