Hedgehog Highways – a planning policy we can all get on board with?
Hedgehogs have recently made the headlines due to Housing Minister, Kit Malthouse, pledging his commitment to the little critters cause in light of a new petition for ‘hedgehog highways’ which has accumulated over 530,000 signatures.
According to studies, the hedgehog population has declined significantly since the early 2000s. With the latest State of Britain’s Hedgehogs report, published jointly by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) and People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES), citing that in the last 18 years the number of urban hedgehogs has fallen by 30% and rural hedgehogs by 50%.
Started by Hugh Warwick, an ecologist who has studied hedgehogs for over 30 years, the petition calls upon the government – Kit Malthouse and Michael Gove in particular – to change planning policy to make the integration of 13cm holes in the bottom of fences compulsory in all new build housing developments. This would allow the animals to move between gardens to find food and a mate and would come at little extra cost, if any, to developers.
While there are many policies that cause disagreements, this is surely one we can all get on board with? So, if you have another spare minute, click here to sign the petition and help the population of the nation’s much-loved animal thrive once again.
Finally, as property industry professionals in a position to influence decisions quickly and more directly, without the need for a new policy, why not add hedgehog highways to your next project meeting agenda?