A prickle of 28 hedgehogs is set for a life of VIP luxury after being rescued from the wild.
The creatures were released into the prestigious Woburn Abbey gardens after being nursed back to health by Andrew’s Hedgehog Hospital, a wildlife charity near Scunthorpe.
On hand to help release them was The Duchess of Bedford, who is patron for the charity.
The Abbey has been an official release site since last year and before then there were no hedgehogs at all in the gardens.
Andrew’s Hedgehog Hospital Trustee Jan Fennell said: “It’s important to repopulate areas like this with hedgehogs as numbers have dwindled over the last few years.”
She added: “The Abbey Gardens is a particularly suitable environment for hedgehogs to thrive as there is a large expanse of garden to roam in and it’s fully fenced off keeping out natural predators such as badgers. The hedgehogs enjoy lots of natural cover and hibernation spaces and there’s also plenty of food available to them in the gardens.
Jan said the family support at Woburn was “exceptional.”
Andrew Grout, Head of “Gardens at the Abbey said: Releasing these little ones today is part of our overall commitment to ensure we protect a balanced biodiverse environment.”