Prickles and Paws Poetry competition, and Bristol Science Film Festival

June 03, 2021

I'm so excited to have won the "Vulnerable to Extinction" category in Prickles & Paws' Hedgehog Awareness Week Poetry competition, with my poem, "Vulnerable to Extinction". The competition was judged by one of my favourite nature writers and illustrators, Tiffany Francis-Baker, and I am so happy she liked my poem!

Vulnerable to extinction


The buttery moon spills a creamy pool of light

On the blades of grass in the garden at night;

Illuminating the shadows, carapaces of beetles,

Slick, silver trails of slugs and snails.


It comes alive at night-fall – invertebrates

Crawling from underneath logs and stones,

Feasting on the unsuspecting gardener’s prize

Cabbage, lettuce, pansy, rose.


Inside, she watches from the porch,

Red cellophane covering her torch

Grasped tightly in small chubby hands:

“Where’s the hedgehog mummy?”


Stroking mousey brown hair, her mother

Gazes out into the garden –

the one she has known since she was young, and

lived here with her mother, father, brother.


She remembers when she was small:

The hedgehogs visiting the garden every day,

Keeping the hungry molluscs at bay

With snuffling, crunching, eating.


And now, she twiddles her thumbs,

Absent-mindedly – fearfully.

Shaking her head sadly – an admission,

We must save our hedgehogs: they are vulnerable to extinction.


I'm also happy to announce that my short film about a juvenile wood mouse has been shortlisted in the Bristol Science Film Festival's Science Fact Amateur Prize! The Film Festival will be virtual this year, and the shortlist will be livestreamed over two nights on the 16th and 17th July, with the winners announced on the evening of the 17th of July.