Meet Henry the ‘hedgehog sniffer’ – making sure our little spiny mammalian friends escape the perils of Bonfire Night.
He’s pictured with his handler Kevin Feaver and three-year-old Cornelius Wilson, son of Louise Wilson whose company Conservation K9 Consultancy was drafted in by Calan Gaeaf festival organiser Paul Harston.
Henry was tasked with sniffing out hedgehogs who may have fancied a nap in the ‘Green Man’ (or Summer King to give him his official title) which was set alight as part of the centrepiece of the event.
Ms Wilson told the Daily Post: “Henry searches the Green Man and the surrounding area for any hedgehogs and we were able to give the all clear on the area. Henry is a trained conservation K9 helping to detect hedgehogs fast and efficiently, in a non-invasive way.”
Henry is a three-year-old Springer Spaniel and trained rescue dog, who obviously knows not to get his nose too close to his quarry in case of a spiking.
The Festival, which celebrates the Celtic New Year, takes place at Park In The Past in Hope, Wrexham, and signifies the transition from summer to winter – with no fireworks. It operates to put money back into keeping the park open.
There were offerings to the Faerie, torch-lit walks through the woods and magicians weaving their magic in front of spellbound little faces.
In addition the event is festooned with Celtic characters and storytelling, in a celebration that predates Trick or Treat or even Guy Fawkes.
As it says in the official invite to the event: “Set half way between the summer and winter equinox. The fire is built by all and burns the old of the dying year including any bad luck you may have picked up.
“The boundary between this world and our ancestors is thinned so spirits and the Faerie can enter our world more easily. There is a small offering to the Faerie of food and drink to gain the favour through the dark winter ahead.
“Feast as the sun sets in the good company of your community.”
The torching of the Summer King is said to send him into exile, passing the crown to the Winter King and allowing the land to regain its strength for the next summer.
Thanks to Henry, the hedgehogs will get to see both winter and summer without getting their spines singed.
Source : DailyPost