Animal Welfare Party Councillor’s Hedgehogs Success Sparks National Interest

Animal Welfare Party Councillor’s Hedgehogs Success Sparks National Interest

Image Credit: British Hedgehog Preservation Society

In March, Animal Welfare Party deputy leader and elected town councillor Jane Smith successfully tabled a motion that for every new planning application coming before Alsager Town Council in Cheshire, native hedging should be stipulated for all new boundaries, and that if native hedging isn’t possible, any solid walls or fences must incorporate ‘wildlife tunnels’ to allow hedgehogs and other animals through access.

It’s estimated that the UK has lost a third of its hedgehog population in the past decade alone, largely due to the practice of placing solid boundaries around gardens. Hedgehogs travel up to two miles a night between March and September in their search for food, mates and nesting sites, and they need to be able to access multiple gardens – as many as 30 gardens each night. Insisting on wildlife tunnels in new applications is a small measure that’s inexpensive to implement but which will have enormous benefits for generations of hedgehogs and other wild animals.

Since the motion was passed, both AWP and Alsager Town Council have received numerous messages of congratulations from individuals and wildlife charities around the UK – as well as requests for further information from 18 other councils so far who would now like to implement something similar following our important precedent.


A wildlife friendly fence panel (image credit:

A wildlife tunnel in a brick wall (image credit: Jane Smith)








We believe that this is a great demonstration of just how effective it can be to have a dedicated voice for animals at the most local level of government; while there is generally goodwill towards our endangered hedgehogs across the political spectrum, other priorities take precedent, and AWP has been the first political party to prioritise hedgehog conservation in planning considerations.

For more information on how you can incorporate hedgehog tunnels in your own garden, visit If you’d like to lobby your own council to pass hedgehog protection measures in local planning applications, AWP is happy to share the wording of our motion. To request this, please contact us here.

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"The Animal Welfare Party puts animal protection high on the political agenda. We offer policies than benefit people, animals and the environment. If you think it's time animals had dedicated representatives in the EU Parliament, please support us today". Vanessa Hudson, Leader, Animal Welfare Party

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