Since London has expanded and gradually lost many of its green areas, the hedgehog population has struggled to fit into the concrete metropolis, so when it was announced that a new lorry park was to be granted access to Regent’s Park, due to the construction of the new high speed (HS2) train line, conservationists were quick off the mark to try and prevent the plans from materialising.
Sadly Green World TV can announce that the new lorry park has been given the green light by a house of Lord’s select committee to go ahead to the dismay of many of those who had fought hard to protect the fragile last population of hedgehogs.
There are about 25 breeding adult hedgehogs in Regent’s Park, the last known population in the city.
ZSL says plans to turn its car park into a facility for HS2 lorries threatens their existence, but the special report said that the plight of the London hedgehogs does not justify “what would be a major disruption to [HS2’s] plans”.
Prof David Field, ZSL’s zoological director, appealed to the Select Committee in September to ask HS2 to find an alternative location for the lorry park.
“We are incredibly disappointed by this ruling,” said Field. “The future survival of this population of hedgehogs has been unnecessarily compromised.”
Only 50 years ago, hedgehogs were found in all of the Royal Parks but have suffered due to habitat loss and fragmentation.
“The zoo is left with having to consider how best to limit the damage,” said hedgehog expert Hugh Warwick. “HS2 had other options, the hedgehogs of Regent’s Park do not.”