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, 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.
To find out more about Hedgehog Street, to become a Hedgehog Champion, and/or help hedgehogs visit: www.hedgehogstreet.org