Every new garden will have to include a hedgehog highway, announces MP
Great news for wildlife enthusiasts: recently-introduced planning laws now require hedgehog highways – small holes cut in the base of fences which form hog-sized thoroughfares between neighbouring gardens and green spaces – be included in new housing developments.
The idea is that by giving hedgehogs right of way and allowing them to roam freely between gardens and further afield, they’ll have access to wider swathes of foraging grounds.
This issue gained traction when a petition set up online by British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) spokesman Hugh Warwick, asking the government to require new builds include hedgehog highways, gained 583,000 signatures.
“We’ve been campaigning to protect hedgehogs for 37 years now and this is one of the most significant breakthroughs we’ve had,” says Fay Vass, chief executive of the BHPS. “Hedgehog numbers are decreasing dramatically and house building is set to increase dramatically. This announcement will ensure that new developments, rather than further damage vulnerable hedgehog populations, may actually encourage them to flourish.
“Hedgehogs are the nation’s favourite animal – they top polls time and time again!” Fay continues. “We can do so much to help them by making our gardens hedgehog-friendly. But unless the hedgehogs can get in, then the gardens are useless to these wonderful, charismatic creatures.”
• To find out how you can give our hedgehogs a helping hand, visit britishhedgehogs.org.uk
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