Newbury Council plans for 'hedgehog highway' turned down

Last updated at 05:56
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Plans for a hedgehog super highway in the south of England have been turned down.

Newbury Town Council, in Berkshire, wanted to introduce hedgehog-friendly holes in fencing on new housing developments.

They said it would create a "highway" for the animals to move easily between gardens.

But West Berkshire Council, who are in charge of planning matters in the area, refused the request saying that it would be too difficult for town planners.

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According to a recent report, hedgehog numbers are down in rural countryside areas by between 30% and 75% in the last 20 years.

A national petition calling for hedgehog highways has been signed by more than 1.1 million people.

The petition said that one of the reasons the hedgehog population was decreasing was due to landscapes being fenced off - for things like gardens.

It called for new housebuilders to include five inch (13cm) holes at the bottom of fences to help hedgehogs move freely which is why Newbury Council wanted to introduce the recommendation.

However, West Berkshire Council refused the request, saying it was "an over burdening condition" for planning.

Anne Coatesy

Newbury Town Council has said it will still carry on to try and introduce its plans for the hedgehog highway.

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