Just back from the Bristol Festival of Nature and now preparing to go head-to-head with the wonderful Kate Long in a face-off between hedgehogs and water voles … who will win? Why not come and join the fun! Then it is off to Edinburgh with extInked to reveal my leg to the unwitting visitors to the Botanic Gardens.
The Bristol event was a lot of fun and a clear reminder that behind the impressive viewing figures for Springwatch and other BBC wildlife programmes there are real, active people who have a passion to learn more about the world around them.
Before my talk I was interviewed on the BIG SCREEN …. never before have I been so large!
You can just make me out in the top right hand corner!
But it was after my talk about The Beauty in the Beast that the real business began – and it was a salutary lesson. I got a good audience and they asked sensible questions, but when I settled down in the tent with the wonderful People’s Trust for Endangered Species crowds swarmed in …. the reason?
Simple – I was ‘with hedgehog‘ … the lesson learned for me is that however good a talk I give I can never compete with the thrill of meeting a real live hedgehog. This one, Holly, was being looked after by Mary from Hedgehog Rescue. I do not want to become a hedgehog carer, I simple do not have the capacity to manage that demanding job. And I do not want a ‘pet hedgehog’. But I also recognise that the amount of information I could impart to an audience would be enormously increased if I had grabbed their attention with a real live spiky hog …. so has anyone got a brilliant solution to this conundrum?