AN Oxford wildlife lover famed for his love of hedgehogs, will share his knowledge of the prickly mammals at an event to raise money for his local community centre.

Writer, photographer and nature expert Hugh Warwick – known locally as ‘Hedgehog Hugh’ – is presenting an evening of hedgehog fun at East Oxford’s Florence Park Community Centre tonight (Friday, February 23).

The fundraiser for the popular neighbourhood base will explore fascinating facts about hedgehogs with plenty of humour, along with more serious advice on how to help the much-loved native British animals which have experienced a catastrophic decline in population.

Oxford Mail: Hedgehog Hugh Warwick

Sharing his love of hedgehogs, Mr Warwick said: “I started studying hedgehogs back in 1986 and they sort of stuck.

“I went up to the most northerly of the Orkneys to look at the impact they were having on ground nesting birds, which was quite a challenge for a young student from Leicester Polytechnic.

“I found that there were very few people studying the ecology of these fascinating creatures, but the few that were became my mentors – and I have been involved some way or other ever since.”

Mr Warwick is now a spokesperson for the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, helps manage a Hedgehog Street initiative, and runs his own online campaign at – which has well over a million signatures.

He added: “A lot of the time my work is with the media or doing talks to groups like the Women’s Institute, but I have also developed a slightly niche line in ‘hedgehog stand-up’.

“The award winning comedian Robin Ince has got me on stage a few times to do short pieces. It was utterly terrifying to do my first ever performance to 500 people in the Bloomsbury Theatre in London.”

Proceeds will help the Florence Park Community Centre, which is used for everything from youth, voluntary and community group meetings to amateur dramatic performances – including an annual pantomime.

Mr Warwick said: “The community centre is very close to my heart. It is an amazing venue right in the middle of the community.

“It can always use a bit of help though, and while I was at a wine tasting there last year I was approached by one of the coordinators to see if I would do a fundraiser. She chose a good time, after the wine had been tasted – so, I agreed.

Oxford Mail: Hedgehog Hugh Warwick. Picture by Zoe Broughton

“I will be doing a full-on 80 minutes of ‘hedgehoggery’ – some of it sensible, much of it not.

“Oh, and because some of the less sensible stuff is also very rude, we have had to make this an over 18 event.”

He added: “I hope we can fill the place and raise some money.

“I might even sell some books too if I am lucky.”

Tickets are available for tonight’s event (Friday, February 23) from