Years ago you would see or hear a hedgehog in your garden throughout the summer month but with numbers in decline 2012 is the year to ensure the survival of our prickly friends - with the help of the Save Harry campaign, spearheaded by Ann Widdecombe.
Ann today (9th July 2012) launched Save Harry! - the new Wildlife Aid Foundation campaign to help save Britain's hedgehogs, by calling on the Government to introduce a new hedgehog protection law.
Sixty years ago there were about 36 million hedgehogs. Incredibly, this number had plummeted to some two million in the 1990's and could now be down to under a million. We need to take action now before extinction becomes a very real prospect. Previous warnings have had little effect because they have placed the onus solely on the individual to act, ignoring the pivotal role of legislation - something which I understand full well. All we ask for is the mandatory introduction of some simple and low-cost measures to improve the survival rates of this iconic British animal, which holds a special place in our hearts.Ann Widdecombe
According to the Wildlife Aid Foundation’s founder-director, Simon Cowell MBE, the Save Harry! campaign tackles the problem by demanding a Hedgehog Protection Act to make wilful killing of hedgehogs illegal, alongside a mandatory code of practice.
This will force all Government agencies, including Network Rail and the Highways Agency, to treat as critical the plight of the British hedgehog. A new law will also prompt influential trade and consumer bodies, such as the Royal Horticultural Society and the Home Builders Federation, to take notice and provide advice to their members before it is too late. I was privileged to grow up at a time when hedgehogs were commonplace. Sadly, these wonderful little creatures are no longer a common sight in Britain's countryside. Unless we act now they could soon disappear altogether. I want future generations in Britain to be able to see our native hedgehogs.Simon Cowell
The Government's current 'priority' classification for hedgehogs is helpful but limited in effect - the small mammal is one of more than a thousand species covered by biodiversity initiatives.
I'm backing the Wildlife Aid Foundation's "Save Harry!" campaign which aims to achieve proper protection for Britain's hedgehogs through an act of parliament that makes wilful killing of hedgehogs illegal. Hedgehogs are England's most iconic wildlife species and they used to be everywhere, yet they could soon be extinct in many parts of the country. Support the "Save Harry!" campaign, sign up for the petition on the Wildlife Aid website or email email@example.com and write to your MP asking them to bring in a Hedgehog Protection ActRicky Gervais