Hedgehog legal protection Government response

March 17, 2016

in A selection of my garden wildlife videos, Gardening For Wildlife, Hedgehogs, Mammals

Get HM Parliament to debate hedgehogs and do something useful for our declining wildlife for a change!! Sign the petition please, see below.

2 young Hedgehogs feeding in my wildllife garden

2 young Hedgehogs feeding in my wildllife garden

Government response to the petition I signed:

Give the hedgehog better legal protection in order to reverse its decline.

We support measures to help hedgehogs. We do not believe it is appropriate to list hedgehogs as a protected species, which is best reserved for species deliberately killed or injured by humans.

The Government is concerned about the decline of the hedgehog. Whilst the reasons for the decline in numbers of this emblematic species are complex, we support efforts to make our gardens more hedgehog friendly and more friendly to wildlife generally and pollinators specifically.

To encourage the involvement of local communities we recently published advice for homeowners in the form of five simple steps to make gardens more hedgehog friendly.   This advice can be accessed  here

We are impressed by the good work of the British Hedgehog Preservation Society and the People’s Trust for Endangered Species in undertaking surveys to establish the facts and engaging the public, and support the majority of their 10 year strategy for the protection of hedgehogs. The Taxon Group, which is being led by Natural England, is also proposing a number of actions that address some of the objectives of the 10 year Strategy.

Hedgehogs are protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 from being killed using prohibited methods such as a crossbows, traps and snares. However, further protection of hedgehogs by adding them to Schedule 5 will not support the species and may have unintended consequences because:

Since 2010 we have overseen work to create and restore over 100,000 hectares of priority habitat. Frontline programmes such as our agri-environment schemes have already restored or planted 30,000 kilometres of hedgerows.

The new £900 million Countryside Stewardship scheme which started this year will further add to this valuable work by helping farmers, foresters and other land managers play a pivotal role in protection our wildlife and the countryside in general. In addition, the hedgerows and boundaries capital grants (part of Countryside Stewardship) announced on 1 February will also have a valuable part to play.

We are developing an ambitious 25 Year plan to protect and enhance our environment. It will move us to a more integrated and effective approach to managing our environment, placing local people and places at the heart of environmental decision making. This new approach will help equip people with the knowledge and power they need to take effective action on local environmental priorities, helping reverse the decline of iconic species like hedgehogs as part of this joined up approach.

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Click this link to view the response online and sign.

The Petitions Committee will take a look at this petition and its response. They can press the government for action and gather evidence. If this petition reaches 100,000 signatures, the Committee will consider it for a debate.

The Committee is made up of 11 MPs, from political parties in government and in opposition. It is entirely independent of the Government.    Find out more about the Committee

The Petitions team
UK Government and Parliament

see Film of hedgehogs safe inside my hedgehog feeding station

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Steve Hull March 17, 2016 at 4:43 pm

The Government advice doesn’t include holes to be in fences.
Many people may plant hedgehog friendly hedges with a big solid fence stopping them from accessing the garden.
I presume some influential person preferably representing hedgehogs will tell them that?


nurturingnature March 18, 2016 at 6:09 pm

Steve, as you will know there is a paucity of common sense advice from MPs and their departments!Cheers, George


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