31/7/2020

Hedgehog numbers have halved, but it’s quite wrong to attribute this to the loss of hedgerows: Our letter sent to The Guardian

European Hedgehog

Hedgehog numbers may have halved since 2007 but it’s quite wrong to attribute this to the loss of hedgerows (Quarter of native UK mammals at imminent risk of extinction, 30th July). The decline of our hedgerows was successfully halted a decade before this, through their legal protection. Since then, successive governments have been equally successful in incentivising farmers to replace hedges and increase the quality of existing ones.

Our demonstration farm in Leicestershire is typical of many – the length and width of hedgerows have both increased, yet the hedgehogs have disappeared. It’s odd the impact of badgers, which kill and eat hedgehogs, is not mentioned. With the badger population doubling since 1980, farmers across the country are wondering when commentators will discuss what is actually happening rather than lazily blame them for removing hedges – something which was banned long ago.

 Andrew Gilruth
Director of Communications

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