HAVING successfully gathered over 100,000 signatures on a petition asking for greater legal protection for hedgehogs, the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, based in Ludlow, secured a date in parliament for a debate on how changes in the law might help the UK’s dwindling hedgehog population.

Hedgehog numbers have fallen by half in rural areas and a third in urban areas since the year 2000.

The pressure on hedgehog populations comes from a number of factors with loss of garden habitat one of them.

Campaigners have been asking house builders to support an initiative to provide ‘hedgehog highways’ that enable the creatures to move between gardens.

Hedgehogs often hibernate and rest up under bonfires putting them at special risk.