Meet the Hedgehogs

Have you ever wondered how your favourite TV documentary gets made? Well, here’s a little inside look into our experience of making a wildlife documentary for Channel 5 called 'Meet the Hedgehogs’ which was broadcast at 8pm on 20th June 2017. After a flurry of activity and telephone calls with Claudia and Natalie from Athena Films—which specialises in wildlife and adventure programmes, plans were set in motion for them to come film with us. Harper Asprey Wildlife Rescue usually refuses film crews as a matter of course, but the entire crew were so respectful of the hedgehogs and it turned out to be great fun.

Read More

Media Coverage

Please contact us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or call on 01344 623106.

Meet The Hedgehogs - Channel 5

Channel 5 | 12 Dec 2017
Steve Backshall helps healed hogs back into the wild.

Queen legend Brian May visits Ditton Infant School for Amazing Grace hedgehog campaign

Kent Online | 21 Sept 2017
Queen legend Brian May spoke to youngsters about his fight to save the UK's hedgehogs during a visit to an infant school today.

Meet the Hedgehogs - What's on TV 

What's On TV | 20 June 2017
Everyone loves a hedgehog – especially rocker and wildlife nut Brian May.

Queen's Brian May and naturalist Steve Backshall on Meet The Hedgehogs

QUEEN guitarist Brian May and naturalist Steve Backshall team up to save Britain’s hedgehogs.

Brian May and Steve BackshalPH

Queen guitarist Brian May and naturalist Steve Backshall team up to save Britain’s hedgehogs

He may be a rock god, but Queen guitarist Brian May is also an animal campaigner of note. Already famous for fighting against fox hunting and the government’s badger cull, last year Brian set up a hedgehog charity, Amazing Grace, in Windlesham, Surrey. 

The reason? Hedgehogs are in catastrophic decline in the UK. Sixty years ago it was estimated that 30 million hedgehogs called the UK home; now only about a million remain. Loss of habitat as a result of overdevelopment, the use of insecticides that kill their food, a penchant for fenced-off lawns that prevent them roaming, and collisions with cars and lawn strimmers are mostly to blame. 

Determined to help, last year Brian teamed up with Anne Brummer of Surrey’s Harper Asprey Wildlife Rescue. They’d already launched the Save Me animal rights campaign in 2009 to fight fox hunting and badger culls, and now they’ve set up Amazing Grace. 

“All kinds of people in the public eye talk a lot about the extinction of tigers,” muses Brian, 69. “The hedgehog in our own country is declining at roughly the same rate the tiger is, so you have to think we should really be dealing with what’s on our doorstep first.”

Rock god to hedgehog hero is an unlikely trajectory… “I’m not a hero. I just do what I can,” demurs Brian. 

“If I hadn’t met Anne, none of this would have happened. I had the will in my life, I always felt for animals, but I didn’t have any skills and I didn’t have any knowledge. Because I’m well-known, I’m able to have an effect out there, and so it’s good to use notoriety to good effect.”

Brian sprinkles stardust on this week’s Channel 5 documentary Meet The Hedgehogs, presented by Steve Backshall, which highlights the charity’s work, reveals what we can do to make our gardens hedgehog friendly, and generally celebrates the UK’s only spiky mammal. 

Anne and her team at Harper Asprey rescue about 750 hedgehogs every year and provide round-the-clock care in nursing them back to health. But Steve also meets private individuals who’ve dedicated their lives to helping the little creatures. Since 1980, Elaine Drewery, an OAP from Authorpe, Lincolnshire, has turned her house into a hedgehog sanctuary, funding their care with her pension and donations. 

Many of the hedgehogs under Elaine’s care have had excruciating encounters with garden strimmers. “Their spines are no match for strimmers, which can cause fatal injuries,” explains Steve. “To avoid casualties, check for wildlife first.” 

Even London’s parks used to be a hedgehog haven. “Hedgehogs used to be a common sight in all London’s parks, but now there’s just one breeding population left, in Regent’s Park,” explains Steve. 

“It was also common to spot a hedgehog in your garden years ago, but now it’s thought nearly half of us have never seen one on our lawn. But encouraging them to come is easier than you think.”

Helping them keep hydrated is an important first step, says Brian. “So many of the hedgehogs that come in [to the centre] are dehydrated, so if you’re going to put something out for them, put out a dish of water,” he says. Also, provide food such as cat food, dog food, nuts or raisins, but not milk or cheese – hedgehogs are lactose intolerant. 

Steve asks us to remember that hedgehogs are nature’s gardeners, feeding on anything we might regard as pests. “So anything you put into your garden targeting those pests, such as chemicals and pesticides, will end up targeting hedgehogs.”

Other hedgehog-friendly tips include cutting a hedgehog-sized hole in the bottom of your garden fence, providing them freedom to roam, because hedgehogs can cover several kilometres per day in their search for food.

Steve is hopeful that ordinary Brits can help prevent the extinction of a species that, last year, topped a poll by the Royal Society of Biology as Brits’ favourite mammal. 

“All hedgehogs are precious,” explains Steve. “They’ve been around longer than the sabre-toothed tiger or woolly mammoths, so they’re tough little creatures that deserve to be here for many years to come.”

MEET THE HEDGEHOGS, Next week, Channel 5 Backshall's Hedgehog Rescue


Radio Times | Jane Rackham
Our hedgehog population has declined dramatically. They were once a common sight in our gardens but some of us have never seen one in the wild. Steve Backshall meets people who are helping them survive...

Amazing Grace - NEW Single by Brian May & Kerry Ellis

Queen Official Site | 4 May 2016
Dr Brian May's Save Me Trust and Harper Asprey Wildlife Rescue are launching a new campaign #AmazingGrace aimed at...

Steve Backshall, Helen Glover and hedgehogs visit Cookham Parish Council

Windsor Express | 3 May 2017
A visit from a popular TV presenter, a two-time Olympic rowing gold medallist and some prickly guests spiced up the build-up to a parish council meeting last night.

Brian May launches local hedgehog week

Your Local Guardian | 30 April 2017
Dr Brian May's hedgehog week kicked off yesterday with a meet and greet that was popular with residents. 

Michael Gove on Twitter: "Delighted to meet up with the ...

Twitter | 29 April 2017
Delighted to meet up with the @HedgehogGrace team in Windlesham today

Surrey Heath village set to become 'first hedgehog friendly village'

Eagle Radio News | 24 April 2017
A Surrey village is aiming to become the county's first 'hedgehog friendly village'. 

Hedgehog Awareness Week: Brian May backs Windlesham's bid to become Surrey's first 'hedgehog-friendly' village

Get Surrey | 19 April 2017
Queen legend Brian May is once again backing Britain's hedgehogs ahead of Hedgehog Awareness Week. 

Viva the Hedgehog!

Brian May | 8 April 2017
Filming Hedgehogs: Great day with the great Steve Backshall filming our hedgehog pals 

Amazing Grace visits Lyndhurst

Lyndhurst School | 6 July 2016
In assembly time today Year 3 to 6 were lucky enough to meet a very special visitor - GRACE THE HEDGEHOG!

Brian May Archives | Hugh Warwick

Hugh Warwick | 26 April 2016
Hugh Warwick: Hedgehog-loving ecologist and author

We are the Champions...For Hedgehogs: Queen legend comes to the rescue of iconic creature

Express | 26 April 2016
QUEEN legend Brian May is becoming king of the hedgehogs to stop the much-loved creatures from vanishing into oblivion. 

Brian May launches #AmazingGrace campaign to save Britain's Hedgehogs

Music-News | 20 April 2016
Dr Brian May's Save Me Trust and Harper Asprey Wildlife Rescue launch #AmazingGrace campaign to save Britain's Hedgehogs.

#AmazingGrace Twitter

#AmazingGrace Facebook

#AmazingGrace T-shirt

Buy an #AmazingGrace T-shirt and support our campaign

Raising awareness and halting the decline.

T-shirt £15.00 plus P&P

AmazingGrace T-shirt