A CHILDREN'S author has teamed up with a Prestatyn hedgehog rescue centre to mark an awareness week surrounding the vulnerable species.

Hedgehogs are now Red-listed in the UK as 'Vulnerable to Extinction' - meaning in danger of losing our precious British mammal. 

The State of Britain's Hedgehogs 2022 report reveals hedgehogs have declined by between 30–75 per cent across different areas of the countryside since 2000.

To help raise awareness of their decline, Jo Greenwood, an independent artist/illustrator from Buckley published her latest children’s book in October last year, which was commissioned for a hedgehog rescue organisation in Prestatyn. 

'Prickly Pals in Peril' is aimed at gently exploring how we can all conserve our precious hedgehogs and their habitats - with Hedgehog Awareness Week running from May 5-11. 

It features a hedgehog on her difficult journey one night, facing many of the hazards that the species endures, both natural and human-made. Living in a small town alongside humans, a chance encounter with a little girl follows, and allows a conversation between them. As a result, the entire community work together to care for and improve chances for their prickly pals.

The story hopes to educate young readers as to the small and easy changes we can all make to our shared habitat, to do our bit and help save the hedgehog. It can be purchased on Amazon via https://bit.ly/3y1u7Rl.

Jo said: "I jumped at the chance then to create ‘Prickly Pals in Peril!’ for Hedgehog Help Prestatyn last year, especially as I already had a strong hedgehog character in my stories that were already sharing eco messages.

"It was hoped to support their own work in spreading awareness of the plight of hogs and how we can all do small things in our neighbourhoods to help their chances of survival. It’s had fabulous feedback so far, and also raises funds for the rescue through its sales."

Tracy Pierce, of Hedgehog Help Prestatyn, has been recognised as a ‘Community Champion’ at 10 Downing Street for running the centre (which is usually full of 30-40 hedgehogs at a time) with her volunteer team.

She organises litter-picks and conservation projects in her local area and endlessly fundraises for hogs.

She also tours primary schools giving talks on hedgehog preservation, and the book mirrors the brilliant talk she gives quite accurately.