Last week a hibernating hedgehog was found in the village  amongst the roots of a magnolia tree.  This news set me off on a research trail about these  Mrs Tiggy-Winkle critturs that we all seem to find so endearing although we know they are jumping with fleas. Towards the end of autumn, hedgehogs consider the best places to build nests (called hibernacula).  Their  favourite sites are under hedges and roots of trees, in piles of brushwood, inside compost heaps or in old rabbit burrows and underneath timber buildings and sheds. The nest itself is ramshackle in appearance but well constructed from old dry leaves, grass and other vegetation and can be up to 50 centimetres (20 inches) thick.  So we should be very careful when gardening or clearing out in these sort of places.  It is said that hedgehogs  may be extinct by 2020.  They have historically lived alongside badgers but  periodically fall victim the badgers’ voracious appetite.  A decrease in the available habitat has seen an increase in competition for resources and increased predation of badgers on hedgehogs.  As a result, hedgehogs have sought refuge in residential gardens but the surge in garden makeovers and an increase in paving and decking have made it very difficult for hedgehogs to find enough to eat.  Also, rising temperatures are waking up our little friends too early from their winter nap but the food sources are not waking up sooner  so there is nothing to eat for these precious things.  I am glad to say that our Mrs Tiggy-Winkle partook of some dried cat food which was left by her disturbed nest and then she left hopefully to make another den and go back to uninterrupted slumber.  The Christmas Market held in the Village Hall on Saturday November 26th was a resounding success and £1400 was raised for St George’s Church.  £200 of this amount was raised through the sale of  a fine reproduction of the village viewed from the water  painted by a local artist Gillie James.  If you would like to buy some they are available from Pam Bennett on 722 307. The refurbishing of the church vestry is going well. The next step is the floor.   Many thanks go to Gil and Carolyn Hayward and their team for organising this fine affair.  There is just time to visit the exhibition at Coombe Farm Studios which runs until Sunday,  December 4th and is open from 10.00 to 5.00pm.




Two exciting exhibitions side by side the Nomad’s Tent return with their bi-annual Roadshow with brilliant and unusual presents, perfect for Christmas shopping including pottery from isfahan and jaipur, a stunning new collection of kilims from India, hand painted tins, decorated boxes, rugs, furniture, artefacts and jewellery.

The Artist is the Teacher showcases original work from artists who teach at Coombe Farm Studios including ceramicists Laurel Keeley and Jill Fanshawe Kato, paintings by Gerry Dudgeon, James Stewart, Mic Chambers, Paul Riley and Bettina Schroeder and printworks by Kate Marshall and Paul Riley.

The exhibitions run from 25th November through to 4th December DAILY 10am-5pm so if you can’t make the private view next week do visit during the exhibition.