23, July, 2021
Meet Alice Fearn, our Hedgehog Hero for July! Alice is fourteen and is living proof that the younger generation can make a big impact when it comes to promoting hedgehog welfare! Read on to find out all about the amazing things Alice does and why she is the perfect candidate for our Hedgehog Heroes series.
How did you first become interested in hedgehogs?
I first became interested in hedgehogs back in July 2017. We had just moved to the Lincolnshire Wolds and one day, I saw a hedgehog sitting in a field near my new house. I couldn’t believe it and neither could my family! We’d never seen a hedgehog before so it was a thrill to spot one for the first time.
My brother made a hedgehog house out of a wine crate and I went to go pick up some hedgehog food. I tried a few brands but the neighbourhood hogs never seemed overly keen, until I brought home some Spike’s hedgehog food. Since then, we have had hedgehog visitors nearly everyday and they can’t seem to get enough of Spike’s.
What do you think is the best thing about hedgehogs?
It’s hard to pick a favourite as there are so many things I love about hedgehogs! If I had to choose one thing, it would be how loud they are for such a small animal. Over the years, I’ve learnt to tell the difference between the noises hedgehogs make; they make sniffing sounds when they’re looking for food, huff and puff during mating season and the sound of rustling bushes lets me know they’re foraging. When I hear that distinctive crunching noise, I know they’re chowing down on some Spike’s! In my experience, hedgehogs seem to love semi-moist food and never say no to a bit of insect crumble as a treat. Hedgehogs rely on their sense of smell, which is perhaps why a slightly more moist food is irresistible to them.
What can we all do to promote hedgehog welfare?
Nowadays, I think the best platform for promoting hedgehog welfare is social media. Instagram in particular is great for making younger generations aware of hedgehogs and educating them on what they can do to help the nation’s hogs. You can share posts easily and expand your reach, ensuring the right messages get across! People are really into video content at the moment and I believe this is a great way to spark people’s interest in hedgehog preservation.
How did you first get involved with making Youtube videos?
I saw lots of people making videos on other subjects, such as cooking, makeup tutorials, etc, but I couldn’t find many videos about helping hedgehogs. A few years ago, I would have really appreciated more video content around how to attract/protect hedgehogs! So, I decided to just start making them myself in order to help others. Videos are great as visual content is much easier to understand and is also more likely to engage people.
What is your process when it comes to making videos?
I like to address the questions I get from my followers. I also try to make videos that address questions nobody else on the platform is answering. Research is important, so I spend lots of time gathering information from different websites and if there’s something I’m not sure of, I get in touch with my local rescue centre. Occasionally, I will create videos that focus on a personal experience I’ve had caring for local hedgehogs.
Do you have any other plans for hedgehog welfare on the horizon?
I would like to continue to highlight current issues hedgehogs are facing. The species is well on its way to becoming extinct and there is more we can all do to help stop this from happening. One big thing that I’m going to cover in a video soon is the importance of hedgehog highways and how people can get involved. I hope to gain more followers and subscribers along the way!
What do you think the future looks like for hedgehogs?
Fortunately, there is a growing interest around hedgehogs, thanks to campaigns and social media accounts that are helping spread the word about small changes we can make to help our local hogs. Simple things such as leaving a shallow dish of food and water can make all the difference! I think the more the younger generations take an interest in hedgehogs, the better the future will look for the species.
Alice’s mum, Tracey, is especially proud of her daughter and her commitment to the cause:
“Alice is passionate about hedgehogs, she enjoys letting me know all about them and showing me her social media. If I can’t find her in the house late at night I know where she will be (outside observing the hedgehogs)!”
Thank you Alice for all the amazing work you’re doing on behalf of UK hedgehogs! Subscribe to Alice’s Youtube channel ‘This Alice!’ and follow her on instagram @hedgehoglifeandmore.