For immediate release: 23 October 2017
New ‘Hedgehog Species Champion’ appointed
The Rt Hon Chris Grayling, MP for Epsom & Ewell and Secretary of State for Transport has become the new ‘Species Champion’ for the UK’s native hedgehog.
The team behind Hedgehog Street, a nationwide campaign set up to help halt the ongoing decline in native hedgehog numbers, has presented Chris Grayling with a special ‘Species Champion’ certificate at his Ministerial Office in the Houses of Parliament, to celebrate starting his new role.
Emily Wilson, Hedgehog Officer for Hedgehog Street says: “We are thrilled to have Mr Grayling’s support for hedgehogs in Government. Hedgehogs are in rapid decline, and the Hedgehog Street campaign was set up to try and help protect our native hedgehogs. With support from Westminster and having the Minister championing the conservation and protection of this iconic species, we believe that hedgehogs have a fighting chance”.
The Species Champion initiative, led by the RSPB, sees MPs from across the UK championing various flora and fauna, from mammals, fish and reptiles to trees and wildflowers. Chris Grayling is the second hedgehog advocate, following his predecessor Oliver Colvile MP.
Chris Grayling says: “Surveys by hedgehog experts tell us that we have lost over a third of all our hedgehogs in the past decade. And they are still declining. The reasons for their decline are complex, but I hope to be able to promote the conservation of this animal in Government and see hedgehog numbers back on the rise once again”.
Hedgehog Street was set up in 2011 by wildlife charities the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) and People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES). To date, over 46,000 volunteers (known as Hedgehog Champions) have signed up to help save Britain’s favourite mammal, whose populations are known to have declined by at least half in rural areas and by up to a third in urban areas since the year 2000.
A photograph of Chris Grayling being presented his ‘Species Champion’ certificate by Emily Wilson is available on request.
To find out more about Hedgehog Street, to become a Hedgehog Champion, and/or help hedgehogs visit: www.hedgehogstreet.org
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For further information, interview requests, or images please contact Adela Cragg or Jane Bevan at Firebird PR:
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NOTES TO EDITORS
Available for interview
- Emily Wilson, Hedgehog Officer, Hedgehog Street
- Fay Vass, CEO, BHPS
About Hedgehog Street
- Wildlife charities BHPS and PTES launched Hedgehog Street in June 2011 to encourage hedgehog conservation action at a local community or neighbourhood level. Over 46,000 volunteer “Hedgehog Champions” up and down the country have registered to help to date and the campaign is ongoing, but we still need your help to make a difference.
- The charities’ Hedgehog Street garden won Gold at the 2014 RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show and People’s Choice Award in the summer garden category.
- Visit hedgehogstreet.org for more information.
- PTES, a UK conservation charity created in 1977, is ensuring a future for endangered species throughout the world. We protect some of our most threatened wildlife species and habitats, and provide practical conservation support through research, grant-aid, educational programmes, wildlife surveys, publications and public events. Our current priority species and habitats include hazel dormice, hedgehogs, water voles, noble chafers, stag beetles, traditional orchards, native woodlands and wood pasture and parkland.
- Visit ptes.org for more information, or follow PTES on Facebook (www.facebook.com/ptes) and Twitter (@PTES).
- BHPS is a UK charity founded in 1982 dedicated to helping & protecting hedgehogs native to the UK. They run a helpline offering advice on caring for & encouraging hedgehogs in the wild and in gardens. They aim to educate the public on how best to help hedgehogs and fund research into the behavioural habits of hedgehogs to ascertain the best methods of assisting their survival.
- Visit britishhedgehogs.org.uk for more information, or follow BHPS on Facebook (www.facebook.com/hedgehogsociety) or Twitter (@hedgehogsociety)
- The State of Britain’s Hedgehogs 2015 report followed the first comprehensive review of the status of hedgehogs nationally in 2011. Since this first report, several ongoing surveys, by PTES and others, have shown a continuing population decline. The State of Britain’s Hedgehogs 2015, publicised at a special UK summit on hedgehogs, paints a stark picture: since 2000, records of the species have declined by half in rural areas and by a third in urban ones.
- An independent study (The State of Britain’s Hedgehogs) commissioned by PTES and BHPS from the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) in September 2010 established clear scientific evidence of the decline in hedgehog populations across the UK. In 2013, PTES also published a long-term trend analysis based on their Living with Mammals and Mammals on Roads surveys which showed that hedgehog populations have plummeted by over a third in the last ten years.