ONE sunny afternoon in Clun, Misia Pilch, aged 12, was out walking with her little sister and friends Ava and Ellis.

They spotted a hedgehog trapped in a cattlegrid. It was obviously too deep for the hedgehog to climb out and there was no ramp as a means of escape.

There was no knowing how long ago he had fallen in but it must have been at least 12 hours, with no food or shelter!

Between Misia and her friend Georgia Clarke, who lived opposite the cattlegrid and had rushed out to help, they managed to carefully lift him out, wrap him in a towel and take him to someone who could care for him. She immediately drove him to the local cottage ‘hogspital for a check-up after his ordeal.

Griddy, as he is now called, most definitely owes his life to the two girls. Had they not rescued him he could have died from hypothermia, dehydration, starvation or a combination of all three. He was very fortunate indeed.

After 48 hours on a heat pad, warming up and resting, he was eating well and putting on much needed weight before he returns to the wild.

In the meantime, local craftsmen have made not only a ramp for the cattlegrid to ensure this never happens again, but also a hedgehog house for him to use in the area if he so wishes. He couldn’t really have asked for more. He made a full recovery and has been released back into the wild.

The British Hedgehog Preservation Society, based near Ludlow, is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, having been founded after this precise problem was discovered by Major Adrian Coles.

He spotted a hedgehog in the cattlegrid of his home and after rescuing him, set about using his position as a county councillor to convince Shropshire Council to ensure there were ramps installed in all their cattlegrids.

The resulting publicity made him realise there was a real enthusiasm to help hedgehogs and a so he created the Charity.

People are urged to check cattlegrids daily or, better still, fit a ramp in them. Griddy could have been a nursing female with hungry and vulnerable hoglets waiting for her back home!