IT is 40 years since the late and much missed Adrian Coles made Ludlow a national centre for helping a threatened garden creature.

Major Adrian Coles MBE, who became nationally known as Major Hedgehog, founded the British Hedgehog Preservation Society in 1982 and was instrumental in giving the hedgehog the high profile that it now enjoys. The Ludlow based charity continues to work tirelessly to improve awareness of the plight of the hedgehog.

It all began when Major Coles found a hedgehog in a cattle grid on his land; he rescued it using a saucepan and then realised that if there hadn’t been a Major on hand with kitchenalia, the hedgehog would not have survived! He used his position as a County Councillor at the time to get Shropshire Council to install escape ramps in all its grids. The resulting publicity was so vast that he realised there was a great appetite to help the hedgehog in the UK; and so, the Society was founded. Major Coles, who lived in Clee, was a Chelsea pensioner for a number of years before his death.