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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 Change.org, 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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Report: A third of Welsh birds are in decline

News Story 1
 A report by RSPB Cymru and partnering ornithology organisations has revealed that a third of bird species in Wales are in significant decline.

90 per cent of Wales is farmed and there is now pressure to implement new land management policies that will aid in nature restoration.

Patrick Lindley, Maritime Ornithologist for Natural Resources Wales, commented: “The problems that confront UK birds, whether they are breeding or non-breeding, are pressure and threats that confront entire ecosystems.

“Birds are a great indicator to the health of our environment. The continued population declines of birds of farmed, woodland and upland habitats suggest there are large geographic themes that are having a detrimental impact.”  

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News Shorts
BSAVA announces winner of 2019 Bourgelat Award

One of the world’s leading small animal medicine specialists is set to receive the prestigious Bourgelat Award at BSAVA Congress 2019.

Professor Mike Herrtage will be recognised for his major research into metabolic and endocrine diseases, including diabetes mellitus, Cushing’s disease and Addison’s disease.

During his career, Prof Herrtage has co-authored more than 100 scientific papers and written more than 200 other publications such as abstracts, books and chapters. He also continues to be a source of inspiration for thousands of undergraduate and postgraduate veterinary surgeons.