Government in hedgehog talks

Environment Secretary Liz Truss has agreed to a "hedgehog summit" in a commitment made to Conservative MP Oliver Colvile, who is campaigning to save the animal, whose population is below a million, half that of 15 years ago.

Communities Secretary Greg Clark has rejected calls to issue councils with guidance to make gardens for new houses "more hedgehog friendly" and include a "hedgehog superhighway" of holes in garden fences.

Campaigners want more people to makes holes in their garden fences to create a superhighway for hedgehogs, to prevent numbers of the mammal decreasing further.

Colvile said in the Commons: "While badgers are responsible for the spread of bovine TB as I understand it, they are no friend of the hedgehog.

"On Monday, (Mr Clark) rejected my and The Times's call for a hedgehog superhighway through back gardens.

"Will you be willing to meet with myself and the British Hedgehog Preservation Society for a hedgehog summit?"

Truss said: "Can I congratulate you on your fantastic campaign and also The Times for raising this vital issue.

"I want hedgehogs too to have a very happy Christmas and I'm very willing to meet with you and the British Hedgehog Preservation Society to see what we can do to ensure that we have a good population of hedgehogs in the future."

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