Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The West European Hedgehog

Hedgehog an endangered species

The latest UK List of Priority Species and Habitats¹ which has just been published includes quite a few shocking items. One which would surprise most people is the common garden hedgehog. The continuous attack from being used as footballs, burnt alive in garden fires, spiked by garden forks, squashed by cars and being used as a crisp flavour² has finally taken it's toll.

So if you do want to see our prickerly garden visitors in the future I suggest you put out a saucer of cat food or slugs to help them on their hazardous potter through our habitat.

1:After two years of work involving in excess of 500 people, the proposed UK List of Priority Species and Habitats was presented in a UK BAP website report in June 2007. The Priorities Species and Habitats Review Working Group and the Priorities Review Group recommended that this list was formally adopted. The Governments of all four UK administrations have now adopted the recommendations of experts and published the UK list of priority species and habitats. The new UK BAP list is an important reference source, bringing all the scientific information on UK BAP species and habitats together in one place.
This list, a result of the most comprehensive analysis ever undertaken in the UK, contains 1149 species and 65 habitats that have been listed as priorities for conservation action under the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UK BAP).

2: No hedgehogs were actually used in Hedgehog crisps, Hedgehog flavoured crisps were actually flavoured with pork fat and no hedgehogs were used in the manufacturing process. Consequently, it wasn't long before Hedgehog Foods Ltd was in court (1982), up against the Office of Fair Trading, on a charge of false advertising.Bizarrely, a settlement was finally reached when Mr Lewis, of Hedgehog Foods, interviewed gypsies who actually did eat baked hedgehogs, to ascertain the flavour of hedgehogs. Mr Lewis then commissioned a flavourings firm to duplicate the flavour as closely as possible and changed the labels from "hedgehog flavoured" to "hedgehog flavour".

1 comment:

Glynn said...

The hedgehog flavour story is great.