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Petition calls for ‘hedgehog highways’ in all new-build houses
The petition is calling for all new fences on housing developments to have a 13cm square cut into them to allow hedgehogs to move from garden to garden.
Over 300,000 people support wildlife-friendly developments 

A petition calling for ‘hedgehog highways’ to be added to all new-build housing developments has been signed by more than 300,000 people.

Ecologist and author Hugh Warwick started the petition on, urging the housing and planning minister, Kit Malthouse, to take steps to protect hedgehogs.

In the past 18 years, urban hedgehog numbers have dropped 18 per cent, while rural hedgehogs fell by 50 per cent, according to the State of Britain’s Hedgehogs report. Housing developments are a key threat, as they fragment the land into smaller pieces, stopping hedgehogs moving freely between gardens to find food.

Mr Warwick, of the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, is calling for all new fences on housing developments to have a 13cm square cut into them to allow hedgehogs to move from garden to garden. Wildlife-sensitive planting, ponds and bat and swift bricks also help to ensure housing estates offer homes for wildlife.

“We know that hedgehog numbers are declining,” Mr Warwick said. “And we know that one of the biggest problems they face is the way we chop our land up into smaller pieces. This often happens when new fences are put in place - and as we are facing a house building boom there are going to be hundreds of thousands of new barriers to hedgehog movement.”

Fay Vass, chief executive of BHPS, added: “This petition is aimed at making new build sites better for hedgehogs, but improvements can also easily be made in existing homes too!

"Hedgehog Street is a project we run with People’s Trust for Endangered Species and its website offers a wealth of information and advice for homeowners wanting to help our prickly friends, you can even sign up to be a Hedgehog Champion!”

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New road sign to protect small wildlife

News Story 1
 Transport secretary Chris Grayling has unveiled a new road sign to help cut traffic accidents and protect small wildlife, particularly hedgehogs.

Local authorities and animal welfare groups are being asked to identify accident and wildlife hotspots where the sign - which features a hedgehog - should be located.

Government figures show that more than 600 people were injured in road accidents involving animals in 2017, and four people were killed. These figures do not include accidents involving horses. The new sign will be used to warn motorists in areas where there are large concentrations of small wild animals, including squirrels, badgers, otters and hedgehogs.  

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NOAH members re-elect Jamie Brannan as chair

Jamie Brannan, senior Vice President of Zoetis, has been re-elected as chair of NOAH for 2019/20, during this year’s AGM, held in London.

Mr Brannan joined Zoetis and the NOAH board in 2016, becoming NOAH’s vice-chair in 2018 and replacing Gaynor Hillier as chair later that year.

He commented: “I am extremely pleased to have been elected by the NOAH membership and am proud to be able to represent our industry at such a critical time for the UK animal health industry. I look forward to driving forward our new NOAH Strategy and to working with our members, old and new, in the coming year.”