A House of Lords Select Committee has ruled in favour of High Speed Two (HS2)’s proposal to build a lorry holding area in a hedgehog stronghold in London.
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.”