ALDERNEY, AND ALL OF THE NIGHT
Tough call, but… capering around Alderney’s golf course by night, in hot pursuit of blonde hedgehogs, must count as my strangest night-time travel experience. Directed by a local conservationist, my wife and I ran hither and thither in the darkness, our torch beam sweeping the fairways and greens in search of these singular creatures, which prosper on this northernmost Channel Island. We found half a dozen of the pale-quilled little blighters (not difficult – they seem to glow in the beam). Our guide, who monitored their numbers for the Alderney Wildlife Trust, scooped them gently from the dewy turf with a pair of heavy-duty gardening gloves, popped them into a tote bag and weighed them with a hand scale before restoring their liberty. A rare genetic condition called leucism gives the hedgehogs their ghostly look, which would be a problem but for the absence of natural predators on Alderney – after all, it’s hard to hide from a fox or a badger when you glow.