Famous TV naturalist sends message

A rural village school has received a handwritten letter from inspirational naturalist and pioneer, Sir David Attenborough, wishing them well in their mission to be hedgehog friendly.

Friday, 23rd July 2021, 10:48 am

Baldersby St James Church of England is one of just 20 primary schools across the UK to be part of a national project called the Hedgehog Friendly Campus Scheme.

The scheme, managed by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, aims to educate adults and children about the importance of saving the hedgehog as a native species and facilitate schools, colleges and universities to make their grounds more hedgehog friendly.

The 22 pupils at the Hope Learning Trust school were so proud of their work that one of the team wrote to Sir David to tell him about what the children were doing. They were delighted to receive a handwritten response from the famous broadcaster.

Headteacher at Baldersby st James, Steff Brown said: “We heard about the scheme through my daughter who studied at Lincoln University and as our school is in such green surroundings, I thought we had the perfect place for hedgehogs to flourish – and of course the children were super-excited to get involved!

“We were lucky enough to have a visit and educational talk from Jackie and Pete from the Nidderdale Hedgehog Appreciation Prickly Pals Yorkshire (HAPPY) Rescue Centre and they talked to us about their rescue work and donated a hedgehog house to the school.

“One of our Year 1 boys, Will Muir, made buns as part of a challenge from his Beaver group, brought them to school and the children and staff all made a donation to go towards saving the hedgehogs. Will raised £15.40 which he decided to donate to HAPPY.”

The school, which is working towards Bronze and Silver accreditation in the scheme, made posters to educate people about the correct food and water for hedgehogs and learned how to make feeding stations, and nesting boxes.

Pupil Will said: “The best bit so far has been getting a letter from David Attenbrough!”

“We decided to give the money raised from my buns to HAPPY as we heard how much money they need to run the HAPPY centre.”

Will added: “We asked if we could help to raise more money for them as we all really want to help the hedgehogs be around when we are grown up.”