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Meet the special hen who was destined for slaughter - but now has Wills and Kate for neighbours

The bird was the 600,000th saved by the British Hen Welfare Trust animal charity

An animal welfare charity has sent a special battery hen it saved from slaughter to enjoy a slice of Royal life.

She is the 600,000th bird saved by the British Hen Welfare Trust, and has gone from a living in a cramped cage to enjoying life on the allotment at Kensington Gardens.

The hen, as yet unnamed, was one of six to move into the gardens which neighbours Kensington Palace, and one of 5,000 that were rehomed on Sunday (October 1).

Andrew Williams, park manager at Kensington Gardens, said: “We’re looking forward to giving these six hens the home that they haven’t had so far.

"They’ll join our small but perfectly-formed existing coop of hens, along with Bertie the rooster to enjoy a nice life here at Kensington Gardens.

“We’ll give them names, and their photos will go on the wall, enriching the lives of families who walk through the park and come to visit them."

Richard Griggs from the Royal Parks team came to collect six hens(Image: UGC TMS)

Mr Williams continued: "The hens will have lots of space to run around in fox-proofed grounds during the day and we’ll put them away every night.

“And their eggs will be shared with the staff and volunteers who dedicate their time to managing the allotment.”

'A real rags to riches story'

It is the first time in the charity’s 12-year history its hens have forged a link with royalty.

Jane Howorth MBE, founder of the charity, said: “I could never have dreamed when I founded this charity that one day our hens would be re-homed within royal grounds

This lovely yet-to-be-named hen is the 600,000th saved by the British Hen Welfare Trust(Image: UGC TMS)

“It’s a real rags to riches story and goes to show the widespread appeal that keeping ex-bats has. I would encourage anyone thinking about it to give us a call and save some lives - hens change lives for the better.

“The six hens who have ended up in Kensington Gardens don’t know how lucky they are. By now they’ll be growing their feathers back and bathing in the autumn sunshine.”

Volunteers Fiona Bentley and Tiggy Fuller with Richard and his son, plus Surrey co-ordinator Brenda Hart(Image: UGC TMS)

Kensington Gardens was once a part of Hyde Park and forms part of the Kensington Palace grounds, official home of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

The allotments are open to the public daily from 9am to 4pm, with visitors able to pick up tips about growing fruit and veg.

To re-home some ex-bats of your own, simply visit the British Hen Welfare Trust website to register your details and then call 01884 860084.

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