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Badgers: Hedgehogs

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 13th March 2020.

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Photo of Chris Grayling Chris Grayling Conservative, Epsom and Ewell

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate he has made of the effect of the rise in the badger population on the number of hedgehogs.

Photo of Rebecca Pow Rebecca Pow The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Defra has not made an estimate of the effect of the rise in badger population on the number of hedgehog in England. However, we are aware of research by the National Wildlife Management Centre and others in 2014 which demonstrated that badger removal had positive impacts on hedgehog numbers within grassland sites.

The Department continues to commend work, including research, by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society and the People’s Trust for Endangered Species, such as their Conservation Strategy for Hedgehogs. Under our 25 Year Environment Plan, we are committed to creating or restoring 500,000 hectares of wildlife-rich habitat to provide benefits for species such as the hedgehog. Agri-environment schemes such as Countryside Stewardship provide funding to restore, extend and link important habitats and boost food resources for our native species.

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