The star attractions were native hedgehogs from Secret World Wildlife Rescue, a pygmy hedgehog named Timmy, from Exotic Hedgehog Rescue, and Maureen’s prickly pets. Maureen is one of Castle Garden’s members of staff.
Activities included a special trail and a table where dozens of children made ‘spaghetti’ hedgehogs. What’s more, nine families signed up to Dorset Wildlife Trust’s ‘wildlife on your doorstep’ campaign that encourages people to record the wildlife that comes into their gardens.
Overwhelmed by the turnout, Mike Burks, managing director of The Gardens Group, said: “We are grateful to all the people who gave their time on Saturday to teach people about hedgehogs. Everyone came away knowing much more about our prickly friends and importantly, what can be done to reduce their dwindling numbers.”
The winner of the hedgehog drawing competition was Holly Brown (aged 10), who received her prize of a Sylvanian hedgehog family and house and the runner-up was Emily Strawbridge (aged 3½, left). Both drawings will be turned into posters and displayed around the garden centre.