10,000 prickly customers invade New Walk Museum

Posted by ap507 at Nov 07, 2014 01:00 PM |
Thousands of salt-dough hedgehogs to help children learn to count as part of University-run schools project at New Walk Museum
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10,000 prickly customers invade New Walk Museum

This hedgehog, an African Pygmy, belongs to Alex Phillimore, the News Centre's writer and reporter

Known for their iconic snuffling and spiky bodies, the hedgehog is a staple of the British countryside with ancestral roots dating back millions of years.

Just before hibernation puts the lovable critters into a deep slumber over the winter period, thousands of salt-dough hedgehogs made by over 4,000 students and hundreds of teachers and parents throughout the city and county will be finding their way into an exhibition at the New Walk Museum and Art Gallery between 8 - 12 November.

The hedgehogs form part of a University project run by Dr Rose Griffiths in the School of Education to teach children the importance of mathematics and learning how to count.

© Wikipedia; European hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus)The Museum’s Victorian Gallery has been transformed with a grass ‘lawn’ for the hedgehogs to roam, and children and adults who visit can rearrange them, count them and look for their favourites, as the hedgehogs come in a variety of shapes and sizes and have distinct personalities in their design.

The exhibition will run from Saturday 8 November until Wednesday 12 November between 11:00am to 4:00pm each day including Sunday. After this time the hedgehogs will be going on tour to schools and other venues around the city until the spring.

Facts about hedgehogs:

  • There are 17 different breeds of hedgehog - none of which are native to the Americas or Australia
  • Depending on the breed an adult hedgehog will have between 5,000 and 7,000 quills
  • Hedgehogs received their name from their preferred habitat, garden hedges, and the pig-like grunts, or 'snuffles', they make
  • In a populated area, it is not uncommon for multiple hedgehogs to visit a garden over several nights, which could mean that ‘your hedgehog’ is in fact a number of different individuals visiting at different times
  • Hedgehogs are nocturnal and generally should not be seen during the day - hedgehogs out in the day may be suffering from sort of illness as this behaviour is unusual
  • When exposed to pungent smells or tastes, hedgehogs exhibit a behavior called 'self-anointing' in which they rub frothy saliva on their quills
  • Contrary to popular belief, hedgehogs should not be given milk and bread - it is poisonous to them. Water and dry cat food should be left out for hedgehogs instead

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