Skip to main content


Volume 456: debated on Tuesday 6 February 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment his Department has made of the reasons for recent trends in the hedgehog population. (110993)

The hedgehog is currently under no conservation threat. In 1999, English Nature (now Natural England) stated that the UK’s total pre-breeding hedgehog population stood at about 1,555,000: 1,100,000 in England, 310,000 in Scotland and 145,000 in Wales.

There is little historical knowledge about changes in numbers, though numbers on the mainland are thought to have declined substantially since the early 20th century. By contrast, introduced populations on islands have increased.

Some data are available from a number of surveys, such as the National Game Census, the Breeding Bird Survey, the Wetland Breeding Birds Survey and the Mammals on Roads Survey. However, none of these has yet been running long enough to give a clear picture of changes in hedgehog numbers.