Some of the photos from our Grace day in Windlesham.
Around the UK, thousands of people are taking part in a sport that stands as a reassuring emblem of British society - one that has remained popular for centuries. When you think of bowls, it brings connotations of the summer, of parks and pristine village greens with young and old dressed in white and the gentle ripple of applause. Windlesham, the quintessential Surrey village, has had a Bowls green since 1933; the site adjoins the village Club and Theatre. Bowls is a sport filled with local heroes - every club seems to have one - and Windlesham is no exception. Take 90 year old Reg Rapley, current Chairman and the club’s Green keeper, who has played at the club for decades and both he - and his wife - have won almost every competition the club plays in.
Reg spends many hours a week, keeping the green in tip top condition for the players, but he looks after the wildlife and environment too. Reg only uses organic fertilisers - he calls the mix “Organic Tea” and uses no pesticides - ever! A testament to Reg’s approach and the variety of wildlife in and around the club’s site. Reg noticed a hedgehog in one of the ‘ditches’ that surround the bowling green. It was a cold and frosty morning and Reg was concerned for the hedgehog’s wellbeing, so he contacted Harper Asprey Wildlife Rescue for advice. The hedgehog had become stranded on the green twice.
Anne Brummer (Founder of Harper Asprey & CEO at Save Me Trust) went to the site and made the decision that the hedgehog - who was named Euan - should come into the rescue centre for a few days because Euan could not climb out himself if he was to fall in again. It was also too cold to leave Euan there and he had pushed his luck twice already.
Anne asked Reg to install a ramp in the ditch area around the green so that Euan and his wild friends could find their way out of the ditch in future. He happily agreed and set about making a suitable ramp.
Euan is very distinctive because of his light colour - he’s a blonde hedgehog - but just like humans, hedgehogs can range from light to dark in colour. It is two recessive genes that give this unique blonde colour and his lovely dark eyes.
Hundreds of locals came to the Sun Public House in the centre of the village for a day of fun and celebration, and to find out more about everyone’s favourite wild animal - the Hedgehog. Saturday 29th April is now a red letter day for Windlesham as it became the first ‘Hedgehog Friendly’ village in England.
Harper Asprey Wildlife Rescue (HAWR) started their Amazing Grace campaign that features Grace, a rescue hedgehog that came to the centre with a bad cut and too underweight to survive winter hibernation.
At the beginning of Hedgehog Awareness Week, a small team of volunteers from HAWR - headed by founder Anne Brummer - set up marquees full of information about hedgehogs and how to make your garden hedgehog friendly. Anne said “There are some simple things that nearly everyone can do in their garden to help hedgehogs”. Firstly, they need access to your garden, we have some simple ‘templates’ available for free - simply cut the hole into your fence and you have created a little “highway for hedgehogs”.
Having got the hedgehogs into your garden, you will want to provide them with food and water. HAWR recommends dry cat or dog food with plenty of fresh water. Wet cat or dog food is also good but can attract flies in warmer weather, it is important to keep the feeding area clean and tidy as hedgehogs can be very messy eaters.
Environment Councillor Mike Goodman, Environment Minister Micheal Gove and Councillor Conrad Sturt are long term supporters of our rescue and wildlife in the community. They give their full support and weight to increasing hedgehog numbers in Surrey Heath.
A few more tips to