ALDERNEY, AND ALL OF THE NIGHT

Lonely Planet (UK) - - Journal - James Kay Ed­i­tor of lone­ly­planet.com @ja mesk ay123

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.

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