The helpful folk at WordPress – who host this blog – have sent me a summary of the stats for last year. And for a beginner in this world, I am quite pleased … they appear below. But before I get there I want to reveal something that the stats-keepers have also been collecting. And that is the search terms that people put into Google et al – and then end up arriving at my site. I would be interested to know which you think are the most unlikely – and also the most impressive … here are some of my favourites (editorials in brackets):

  1. contrary between swallow and sparrow in ancient egypt (I am just copying what is there … if you can understand how this got to me, please share)
  2. where do hedgehogs originate
  3. the cute storybook with hedgehogs in the bottom of each page
  4. punk beijing china hedgehog
  5. gothic hedgehog tattoos
  6. natural looking dog paw prints tattoo with shading (dogs???)
  7. hedgehogs chewing on leather
  8. dead sparrow
  9. new book about opera (well that one should be obvious …)
  10. unsocialised lemur (how did this end up with me???)
  11. stephen fry (this was the second most popular search – and I am guessing there are some disappointed people out there … )
  12. osborne thieving bastard
  13. ben fogle tattoo (I am not sure if this was someone looking for a tattoo of Ben, of just to see if he had a tattoo … it had better be a hedgehog if he does! And how did it get used 23 times?)
  14. hedgehog jokes (nearly twice as many people searched for this as they did for hedgehog hugh … there might be a message in that)
  15. hedgehog taxidermy ebay (I guess that one is not too hard to explain – but interesting that I am not alone)
  16. slug slime feet
  17. hedgehog marijuana (have I even mentioned marijuana? And what is hedgehog marijuana anyway … I would be happy to experiment)
  18. parasitology jokes
  19. fat eating capitalist cats
  20. flagelist (help me on this please …)
  21. hedgehog hugh!! (I love that someone has searched for me with exclamation marks!)
  22. prodded poppies
  23. scared of 5 rhythms
  24. greenpeace hedgehogs
  25. how much is a hedgehog worth (they are priceless … and that is enough of this … here follow the year in stats)

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 9,800 times in 2010. That’s about 24 full 747s.


In 2010, there were 45 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 64 posts. There were 41 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 93mb. That’s about 3 pictures per month.

The busiest day of the year was April 12th with 314 views. The most popular post that day was countryfile and empathy.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for hedgehog jokes, stephen fry, hedgehog feet, hedgehog hugh, and hedgehog tattoos.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


countryfile and empathy April 2010


How much is a hedgehog worth? February 2010


Stuff about me … November 2008


hedgehog feet April 2010


Why the exotic pet trade is wrong and undercover investigations are so important January 2010


I think it is important for everyone to have a Nemesis – or at least someone at whom one can rant and moan and blame for anything and everything. For me that person has been Ben Fogle.

Which is a bit like saying that you don’t believe in fairies, or that puppies are hideous. The revelation is often met with gasps and a hand going to the mouth in horror.

Why? Isn’t it obvious? No one can be that nice. There must be some evil alternate existence in which he dissects fairies and plays football with puppies. Oh, and then there is the simple matter of the green-eyed god of jealousy. I want as many people to read my books as read his, I want to be on TV as much as he is (well, maybe not as much, but a little bit more than the near nothing I have now).

But most of all, I want to elicit the same response he does from every woman involved in the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, my wife and countless others.

When he accepted our kind invitation to him to become a patron of the society there was swooning. I have already written about the delight when he signed some envelopes for us and how the announcement of his raising money for the charity by going off on a jog was met with awed silence (even though I raised more through the agonising acquisition of a hedgehog tattoo).

And now? What am I supposed to do? One of his adoring fans at the BHPS has passed on to me an article he wrote in The Times. “A Prickly Affair by Hugh Warwick is a wonderful story…” “The book is funny and moving…” “Read it and you will see hedgehogs in a whole new light.”

Is this deliberate torture? Do you think he knows what he is doing? Destroying my mental punch bag? Damn and blast is all I can say (because I have not the verbal dexterity of Mr Fry).

So, who next? Who else can I moan about now I have to accept Ben Fogle might actually be a force for good?

ps – couldn’t find a picture of him with a hedgehog … so stole the one of him and a cheetah from his website … when I went to Namibia and stroked a cheetah there was no-one there to record it … he is at it again….

Have just found that, thanks to a generous donation from wildlife camera makers HandyKam, I have reached my target on the JustGiving site … now at £503 … raised from my tattooing adventure. And the greatest part? I have shot past Ben Fogle’s £443. I hope that at the next trustees meeting of the British Hedgehog Preservation Society this is noted!

Stamps – I never really got the point of stamp collecting, at least not just your bog-standard penny blacks and the like. But some of them are gorgeous and I reckon I could be tempted to engaged in a little philately  (is that right?) where animals and plants are concerned … and then, what comes along but the perfect vehicle for the budding philatelist … a hedgehog stamp!

Out in March, the Royal Mail is celebrating UK mammals. And while the set contains such diversions as a bat, otter, water vole, and dormouse, by far the most significant contribution comes in the form of a hedgehog.

Now you might think I would obviously say that – pure hyperbole – but I base my praise of the hedgehog stamp in sound economics. The British Hedgehog Preservation Society has teamed up with the UK’s leading producer of first day covers to make an official hedgehog first day cover – and there is more …

Not just the first day cover, but a BHPS postmark …

And not just that either, a limited number are personally signed by BHPS patron (tv personality, adventurer, writer and every-bloody-ones favourite) Ben Fogle … what is it about Ben Fogle … at a BHPS trustees meeting there is pretty much a minutes silence of quivering reverence when we acknowledge the £449 he raised for doing a little run – yet not even the remotest hint of a quiver when I point out I raised £423 getting a hedgehog tattoo.

Where was I … so, not only can you buy hedgehog first day covers, but you can also buy ones touched by the soon to be beatified Ben (but it will cost you an additional £10).

If you are so moved to join in the collective Ben and hedgehog worship, please order through the link on the BHPS website – this will ensure that 40% of every sale goes straight to the society. The covers cost £11.95 unsigned or £22.95 with the possibility that a drop of Ben’s sweat might just have evaporated on the stamp.

You can also call Buckingham Covers direct on 01303 278 137 stating you would like 40% of the sale price to come to the Society.