Wild British hedgehog populations have been declining, but beer is here to help.

By Mike Pomranz
Updated February 10, 2020
Camden Town Brewery

Last year, McDonald’s in Sweden unveiled an irresistibly cute promotion: The “world’s smallest McDonald’s”—a tiny “McHive” built specifically for bees to support dwindling bee populations. Then, in December, a burrito joint in Kentucky opened a tiny pop-up location just for squirrels. But what about British hedgehogs? They, of course, are deserving of a proper pub.

Last week, London’s Camden Town Brewery unveiled tiny pubs for hedgehogs —which live in the wild in the U.K.—created in collaboration with the British Hedgehog Preservation Society. These portable watering holes went up for sale on Thursday for £50 a pop (about $65) and were fittingly dubbed The Hibernation Arms. They “may look like your local,” the brewery wrote, but each pub is actually “a safe place for hedgehogs to hibernate in winter, and birth baby hogs in summer, available to buy for your very own garden.” As two added bonuses, 100-percent of the proceeds went to the Preservation Society, and each pub came with a four-pack of human beer, Camden Hells in Hibernation Lager.

Camden Town Brewery

That beer—a piney, winter take on Camden Town’s signature Hells Lager—will also see a portion of its sales donated to help Britain’s spiny, little mammals. “Hibernation isn’t easy for British wildlife these days. The change in their environment has seen animals such as hedgehogs arrive much later in the year, meaning they’re not able to eat enough to sleep through the cold winter months. And in urban areas, loss of habitat, dangerous roads and pesticide have all limited hedgehogs’ ability to find a safe space to hibernate in winter,” the brewery explained in announcing the hibernation huts. “That’s why we’re supporting the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS).”

“We are very grateful that Camden Town Brewery is showing support for hedgehogs with its fantastic Hells in Hibernation Lager,” Fay Vass, BHPS’s chief executive, stated. “Hedgehog populations have declined by half in rural areas and by a third in urban ones in the last 20 years so they need all the help they can get.  The funds and awareness that this collaboration raises will help us, help hedgehogs.”

Sadly, for those dreaming of giving their hedgehogs a pub to call their own, only 60 Hibernation Arms are being built, and they sold out yesterday morning. However, first, it’d be expensive having a hedgehog pub shipped to America, and second, we don’t have any wild hedgehogs here in the U.S. anyway. Still, if this story has left you longing to help support British hedgehogs, you can donate here. No, they aren't in need of tiny hedgehog-sized bowler hats; they prefer money.

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