Saving the lives of hundreds of hedgehogs in the UK since they were 9 years old.
When cousins Kyra and Sophie were 9 years old, they learnt that the hedgehog population in the UK was rapidly declining. They found out that since the 1950s, the British Hedgehog population had fallen from 30 million to less than 1 million. Kyra and Sophie felt saddened by this statistic and couldn’t believe how little most people knew about declining hedgehog populations. So to raise awareness, they decided to write letters to all the homes in their neighbourhood asking them to build ‘hedgehog highways’ in their gardens (holes in fences so hedgehogs can pass through). Many people and families in their hometown of Stratford-Upon-Avon read the letters and answered their wishes.
Then one summer’s day, Kyra and Sophie stumbled upon two poorly hedgehogs. They took the hedgehogs to the vets where they learnt how to care for them, and took them home and looked after them until they were well enough to be released. Kyra and Sophie loved the feeling of helping so much. After they released the two hedgehogs they wanted to look after more. They got in touch with vets and asked if the vets could help train them. The vets showed Kyra and Sophie how to analyse poo samples to work out which medications different hedgehogs needed and how to administer the medication. Before long what had started as a couple hedgehogs in their home became a fully-fledged hedgehog rehabilitation centre (more affectionately known as a ‘hogspital’) and the girls set up their own organisation called ‘Hedgehog friendly town’. People from all over town bring poorly hedgehogs in for the girls to look after.
Kyra and Sophie now give up all of their free time to running their ‘hogspital’. They take them in, assess their medical condition, give them medication, feed them every 2-3 hours (even through the night) and eventually release them when they are healthy again. So far Kyra and Sophie have helped just over 500 hedgehogs and delivered over 50 workshops to raise awareness among adults and children. Their amazing work has been widely recognised by people and organisations all over the UK. In 2019 the girls won the Animal Hero Award and they have also been named ambassadors for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Their advice to other young change-makers is, that ‘Everyone can make a difference. We started when we were 9 years old, just writing letters to our neighbours asking them to put a hole in the fence. Just little things like that can make a huge difference and everyone can do it’.
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