HEDGEHOG-saving teenagers have been named on The Independent’s list of people who make Britain a better place to live.
Kyra Barboutis from Stratford High School and Sophie Smith from Stratford Girls Grammar run Hedgehog Friendly Town.
The 13-year-olds take in injured hedgehogs from across the district and help nurse them back to health before releasing them back where they were found. They also raise awareness about how to support the animals.
And it is their dedication to saving the local wildlife which led to the pair being named on The Independent’s Happy List, which celebrates ’50 inspirational people whose kindness, ingenuity and bravery have made Britain a better place.’
Kyra said: “It is such an honour being on the list and lovely to be getting some recognition for our hard work. Reading though the other people was amazing, we are so lucky to be recognised alongside them.”
And Sophie was equally delighted. She told the Observer: “It is lovely to be recognised. We just love hedgehogs and they make us happy and we think lots of other people in Britain do so to. We just want to help the hedgehogs we can and encourage others to do so too. Raising awareness is one of the best ways we do this. ”
One of the duo’s most recent rescues was a baby hedgehog, known as a hoglet, which had been pecked by crows in Dell Court in Henley.
The tiny hoglet – later named Galaxy – had a damaged eye but after being cared for was ready to be released.
An appeal was put out on social media to find a nearby garden to release her in and the pair were ‘overwhelmed’ with the response.
Kyra added: “Our policy is always to try and release them back to the area they were found and normally into an area where someone would provide a nest box and would feed them. It also has to have a healthy hedgehog population .
“We were overwhelmed with the massive response and also how many people fed and cared for all the hedgehogs that live in that area. She has been released and we know lots of gardens will all have food and water out for her.”
Search Hedgehog Friendly Town on Facebook to find out more about the rescue.