Prickles on parade

Encouraging news from Leicestershire. Severn Trent Water is keen to encourage hedgehogs onto its sites. They, as any good gardener knows, have a healthy appetite for slugs and snails. And as any good environmentalist knows, they are a lot greener than using pesticides and pellets. So the modest network of Hedgehog Hotels that will be sprouting up in the East Midlands this summer is an entirely welcome move.

Encouraging news from Leicestershire. Severn Trent Water is keen to encourage hedgehogs onto its sites. They, as any good gardener knows, have a healthy appetite for slugs and snails. And as any good environmentalist knows, they are a lot greener than using pesticides and pellets. So the modest network of Hedgehog Hotels that will be sprouting up in the East Midlands this summer is an entirely welcome move.

But we wonder if the humble hedgehog, underemployed by the human world for far too long, could enjoy some even wider role.

Hedgehogs also eat caterpillars and beetles. More to the point, they are, by wide consent, the most flea-ridden creatures known to man. And they carry ticks, which also doesn't sound too pleasant. Wider circulation of this vital fact, and the strategic placement of the diminutive mammals, could act as a second-order burglar-deterrent. They're also pretty fast on their feet so they offer the potential for hedgehog racing. After all, they race cockroaches, don't they?

There are 101 uses for a live hedgehog. And remember, a hedgehog is for life.

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