Half a million people call on Minister to help hedgehogs!
We know that people love hedgehogs – but even we at the British Hedgehog Preservation Society were surprised when the petition started by our communications officer Hugh Warwick took off so quickly and has now just topped 500,000 signatures.
The change.org petition [www.change.org/p/help-save-britain-s-hedgehogs-with-hedgehog-highways] is calling on the Housing Minister, Kit Malthouse, to ensure that all new housing developments are built with hedgehog highways as standard.
We know that hedgehog numbers are in steep decline – down 30% in urban areas since the turn of the century, and down 50% in the countryside. And we know that one of the best ways to help hedgehogs is to ensure they can move through the landscape unhindered. The campaign Hedgehog Street [www.hedgehogstreet.org], that we run with the People’s Trust for Endangered Species, calls on us to make sure our gardens are accessible to hedgehogs – a small 13cm x 13cm (CD case sized) hole is all that is needed.
But it is much easier if these holes are in place to begin with – retrofitting can be hard work.
So, given that we need many thousands of new homes – this is the perfect time to get the holes built into the fences. Already fence manufacturers are being lobbied to provide them – and they are being installed by grateful hedgehog-loving home owners.
What next? Hugh has requested a meeting with the Minister – and hopes that when he sees the strength of support behind this campaign, he will realise that this is a very easy win in politically turbulent times.