December 27, 2015 by Whispering Smith
Whispering Smith Column published in the Littlehampton Gazette December 17th 2015
THERE was a commons debate recently where one MP wanted to adopt the hedgehog as our national native animal and drop the lion which isn’t native to this country, leastwise I haven’t run across one. I know where my vote would have gone but sadly I believe time is running out for this little critter. I spend a lot of time driving around the countryside and I have only seen one dead hedgehog, plenty of other road kill though including rabbits, pheasants, squirrels, badgers and fox so either the little hortas have at last got some road savvy or there are fewer of them for folk to run over. My guess is it is the latter and they are sadly on the decline. When I was a kid in Rustington long before the advent of the vast concrete housing estates and paved gardens hedgehogs were common in every garden and could happily wander the length of Wendy Ridge from garden to garden without ever venturing onto the highway so I guess loss of habitat is the main reason for their demise. You can help a little by cutting a hole in that fence between your property and that of your neighbour and also a compost heap will help. They will repay you should they visit by clearing, noisily at times, your flowerbed of slugs. A fair trade for a little effort don’t you think?
YOU cannot keep a good town down! Littlehampton High Street was very busy on Saturday’s Fun Day in spite of the chilly weather and leaden sky. Christmassy stalls, grub, roundabouts, the ubiquitous Tyndall Jones the genie and his collection box, the Town Hedgehog and his minder, there to see it does not get run over I presume, add some fine street entertainment, the drums of the drummers, the bells of the Morris dancers and the cheek of the Bamboo Band and you have a real fun day indeed. Well done to all involved.
NO sparrowhawk yet but cormorants seem to be returning to the river. Photographer Andy Lee recently posted a shot on his facebook page showing the bird in all of its glory and clearly defined markings, indeed not the drab brown bird it often appears to be, within that darkness there is much light.