One woman’s love of her feathered friends has inspired her new career as a children’s author - and she is repaying the favour by donating part of the profits to a bird charity.
Heather Trefusis’ family still live in Hill View, Berkhamsted, and even after moving across the border to Bedfordshire she worked for British Telecom in Hemel Hempstead.
But several years ago she adopted a group of former battery hens as pets via the British Hen Welfare Trust.
And their adventures and personalities have inspired her series of books Four Little Hens.
She said: “It is literally a dream come true.
“I’ve worked as a copywriter for years, but my passion has always been children’s fiction. It’s so difficult for new authors to secure a publishing deal these days though, I didn’t think it would ever happen.”
After adopting the birds Heather was amazed by how “cheeky and charming” they were, and the characters in her books have been named after the real-life birds.
The first book, Henrietta’s Big Splash, was snapped up by a publisher and they asked her to write three more, Delilah’s Day Out, Pollyanna And The Great Indoors, and Josephine’s Prickly Friend. All four were published last week.
Heather is donating 20p from the sale of every book to the British Hen Welfare Trust.
She said: “They do such amazing work and have rescued nearly 500,000 of these sweet creatures over the years. I hope the books will raise lots of money for them.
“The charity rehomes ex-battery hens so they can have a happy retirement. Its patrons include Jamie Oliver and Amanda Holden, and the books already have a celebrity following on Twitter.”
All four books are available to buy online now at www.fourlittlehens.com