Protect the UK's dwindling hedgehog population before it's too late.

Now the hedgehog has been listed as vulnerable to extinction in the UK, we are calling on the Government to move hedgehogs to schedule 5 of the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 to allow them greater protection.

This petition closed on 1 Apr 2021 with 108,329 signatures


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Latest Documents
Recent Speeches related to Protect the UK's dwindling hedgehog population before it's too late.

1. Hedgehogs
05/07/2021 - Westminster Hall

1: arrangements. Timings of debates have been amended to allow technical arrangements to be made for the next debate - Speech Link
2: last time we had the pleasure of a debate on hedgehogs in Parliament was almost six years ago, in November - Speech Link

2. Environment Bill
26/05/2021 - Commons Chamber

1: out “instead of” and insert “in addition to”.Government new clause 22—Habitats Regulations: power to - Speech Link

3. Bird Nesting Sites: Protection
13/05/2019 - Westminster Hall

1: I beg to move,That this House has considered e-petition 244233 relating to protecting nesting sites - Speech Link
2: sandscaping to build up the beaches and improve coastal protection. Does he agree that it is really important that - Speech Link
3: on the hedgerow in Hartlepool and its effect on wildlife and on birds’ nests. However, netting is used - Speech Link

4. Red Squirrels: Potential Extinction
03/07/2019 - Westminster Hall

1: I beg to move,That this House has considered potential red squirrel extinction.“This is a tale about - Speech Link
2: organisations? If so, does she feel that perhaps the Government should encourage those groups to be involved - Speech Link
3: are now 3.5 million grey squirrels living in the UK, compared with just 140,000 red squirrels, and it - Speech Link

5. Environment Bill (Seventeenth sitting)
17/11/2020 - Public Bill Committees

1: This would give stakeholders—including UKTAG, the UK technical advisory group, which currently advises - Speech Link
2: is a key aspect of our wider regulations that protect and enhance our water environment. The exercise - Speech Link
3: suggested in the amendment because the clause would allow the Secretary of State, albeit on a reasonably narrow - Speech Link

Latest Speeches
Recent Questions related to Protect the UK's dwindling hedgehog population before it's too late.
1. Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981
asked by: Wera Hobhouse
09/07/2021
... what the planned timetable is for publication of the 7th Quinquennial Review of Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

2. Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981
asked by: Caroline Lucas
17/02/2020
... when the Government laid before Parliament a copy of the (a) 6th Quinquennial Review advice received from the Joint Nature Conservation Committee and (b) Government’s formal response to that review and any accompanying statements; where those documents can be located online; and if she will make a statement.

3. Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981
asked by: Barry Gardiner
07/09/2015
... Paragraph 25(2) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 as amended by the Infrastructure Act 2015.

4. Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981
asked by: Barry Gardiner
07/09/2015
... Paragraph 25(1) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 as amended by the Infrastructure Act 2015 to date.

5. Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981
asked by: Barry Gardiner
07/09/2015
... Paragraph 25(1) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 as amended by the Infrastructure Act 2015.

Latest Questions

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This change will mean hedgehogs will be afforded greater protection and hopefully help their numbers recover.


Petition Signatures over time

Government Response

Monday 19th October 2020

There are currently no plans to give hedgehogs further legal protection. An evidence-based review of Schedule 5 of the Act is in progress and we will consider any recommendations arising from this.


The Government is concerned about the decline in hedgehog numbers in England and the findings of the Red List for British Mammals, published earlier this year by the Mammal Society, which has classified hedgehogs as ‘vulnerable’. As set out in the 25 Year Environment Plan, we are committed to taking action to recover our threatened native species. We are exploring the use of powers in the Environment Bill to strengthen our commitment to improve the status of threatened species, including by setting at least one biodiversity target in law, as well as enhancing duties for public authorities to carry out strategic assessments of the actions they can take to enhance and conserve biodiversity.

Hedgehogs are protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 from being killed using prohibited methods such as crossbows, traps and snares. Whilst the reasons for the decline in numbers of this native species are complex, the Government has not previously moved to protect this species under Schedule 5 as it is not clear that such protection would be of benefit to the species, in so far that:

• we have no evidence that intentionally killing, taking or injuring hedgehogs is currently an issue; and

• it would not address the main threat of habitat loss.

The Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) has, however, recently commenced the seventh Quinquennial Review of Schedules 5 and 8 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. The JNCC will make evidence-based recommendations to the Secretary of State as to which species warrant additional legal protections to secure their future conservation. The Government will therefore consider any recommendations to add species to Schedule 5 of the Act once these recommendations have been submitted.

Defra commends the work, including research, undertaken by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society and the People’s Trust for Endangered Species, such as their Conservation Strategy for Hedgehogs. Additionally, we have published advice on how to help hedgehogs through the creation of hedgehog havens and making gardens as welcoming as possible. This can be accessed at: www.gov.uk/government/news/five-simple-steps-to-transform-gardens-in-to-hedgehog-havens.

Further to this, the revised National Planning Policy Framework sets out the Government’s policy on planning and states that the planning system should contribute to and enhance the natural and local environment by minimising impacts on, and providing net gains for, biodiversity, including by establishing coherent ecological networks.

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs


Constituency Data

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