A HEDGEHOG named Noah is bringing joy to a Kendal couple who were caught up in December's floods.

Using condemned floorboards ripped out of their White Stiles home, Wendy Comert and Titus Leskov have built a hibernation house and feeding station for the creature, whose nocturnal visits to their back garden began in the weeks after Storm Desmond.

The husband and wife, in their 50s, are calling the hedgehog Noah to reflect his resilience in surviving December 5's deluge.

Writing under his online persona, Celestial Elf, Titus has even been inspired to write a 16-stanza poem - The Epic of Hedgehog Noah and the Great Flood - to celebrate the spine-covered mammal's "true Cumbrian spirit".

Titus and Wendy have been living upstairs at their Kendal home since water poured across Jubilee playing fields and submerged their ground floor. Until then, the couple had been feeding a hedgehog nightly with kitten food, dried mealworms and fresh water; and Wendy told the Gazette that discovering the creature had drowned was more distressing than seeing their house awash.

"As part of the rehabilitation of ourselves, we were still putting out food," said Wendy. "About four to six weeks ago the food had been taken again and we've got another hedgehog visiting. That was so exciting, because this whole area where we live, down to the River Kent, was under water."

Titus explained: "We were in tears when our first hedgehog died. It was heartbreaking and we were very traumatised." However, the couple - who met as elves on virtual reality website Second Life while living in Dorset and London - are taking solace from keeping a watchful eye on hedgehog Noah with their motion-activated, infra-red wildlife camera.

Meanwhile, family and friends have been so impressed by the hedgehog house made from ripped-out floorboards, Wendy is making several more as gifts.

"It's something we can do to help the hedgehogs while our own home is ruined," said Wendy. An artist specialising in pyrography, or wood burning, she makes and sells hand-crafted items under the name Wendy Elf.

The couple moved to Kendal a year ago, and Wendy praised the 'absolutely amazing' response of townsfolk to the floods.

Titus's poem appears on his blog, The Dance of Life. To read the full poem, visit http://tinyurl.com/h8p8t2s