With endangered species experts saying this news may have “catastrophic” consequences, it seemed only logical that a festival would be held in celebration of the prickly, woodland creatures.
Yes, you read correctly. Next month, a hedgehog festival, aptly named “HedgeFest”, is scheduled to take place at the Sebright Arms pub in Hackney, London.
A number of activities will be taking place as part of the festivities on Saturday November 17, including live music from local bands, poetry readings and face painting.
The organisers of the event have created a GoFundMe page in order to raise as much money as possible in aid of the cause.
“Hedgehogs hold a special place in the hearts and imagination of children and adults alike,” they write on the fundraising page.
“Sadly, the hedgehog population is declining rapidly, with close to half the population wiped out over the past 15 years and on the decline at a rate of five per cent yearly.”
While the festival may have been created with a very noble cause in mind, some people may be disappointed to discover that no hedgehogs will be making appearances during the event.
However, all is not lost, as a drinks menu and food specials inspired by hedgehogs will be on offer instead. Not quite the same, admittedly, but delightful nonetheless.
Any excess money raised through the GoFundMe page that isn’t needed for the festival will be donated to Hedgehog Street, a charity run by the People’s Trust for Endangered Species and the British Hedgehog Preservation Society.
Earlier this year, a survey found hedgehog sightings in the UK had fallen by a third over the past 18 years.
Kevin Smith, deputy editor of BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine, spoke about the importance of trying to protect hedgehogs in the country.
“It’s alarming to see numbers of our cherished hedgehogs continuing to decline, as they’re such a vital part of any healthy garden and, more widely, our ecosystem,” he said.
“On a positive note, British gardeners are doing more than ever to try to save them – with a reduction in slug pellets the biggest single action taken in the last year.”