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Helping all creatures great and small

Electricity workers spent a day helping to save hedgehogs and clean elephant paddocks at Howletts Wild Animal Park in Canterbury.

From Press releases - 26 June 2017 12:00 AM

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From helping one of Britain’s smallest mammals, to one of the world’s largest, UK Power Networks staff tackled the jobs with gusto on the hottest day of the year on Wednesday (June 21).

Nine volunteers from the highway services department installed about 100-metres of hedgehog-proof fencing, to prevent them being hurt on an electric fences around the primate enclosures. Then they shovelled elephant dung, twigs and leaves from the elephant paddocks into a dumper trucks and swept the paddock to make it clean and tidy for the elephants’ return.

The staff gave their time as part of UK Power Networks’ volunteering scheme, which gives staff two paid days a year to volunteer or fundraise in their local communities.

Jen Ball, estate supervisor, said: “They were brilliant. It was a very hot day and they were absolute troupers. They are a great group because they really get on with the jobs and seem to enjoy it.”

Neil Shepherd, highway services team manager said: “The hedgehogs have been burrowing underneath a mesh fence and rolling down a ditch, hurting themselves on an electric fence. We have dug down a couple of inches and put in another wire fence to keep them safe. Hedgehogs are nearly on the endangered list and they couldn’t allow this to keep happening and we were pleased to help out with the work. Howletts is such a great place to volunteer and they really look after us.”

The charity made dreams come true for one of the volunteers, Rosie Thompson, giving her a close encounter with her favourite animal, the Capybara, leaving her ‘smiling from ear to ear’.

Katy Sherry, a highway services coordinator who organised the challenge, said: “We also volunteered at Howletts in October when we were clearing out the elephant enclosures and it stank to high heaven! We filled dumper trucks with dung and put down the bedding. It was hard work but everyone enjoyed it and we agreed we would go back. It feels good to give something back, work together as a team and get an insight into the work that this charity do.”