London Zoo issues hedgehog ultimatum to HS2

A 'hot spot' of hedgehogs is said to reside around the area designated for a HS2 lorry depot. Pictur

A 'hot spot' of hedgehogs is said to reside around the area designated for a HS2 lorry depot. Picture: Tony Wills - Credit: Archant

The disruption set to hit Camden during the construction of the High Speed 2 (HS2) rail link has seen many in the borough aghast at the prospect of living next to a building site for years to come.

Stanley Johnson, father of Mayor of London Boris, has also spoken out about the hedgehogs. Picture:

Stanley Johnson, father of Mayor of London Boris, has also spoken out about the hedgehogs. Picture: John M Fulton - Credit: John M Fulton

People’s houses are to be torn down, their streets ripped up and, opposition campaigners say, their air to become smog-filled.

But the plight of another population in the area could be even worse.

This week, the Ham&High discovered the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), which runs London Zoo, had issued warnings to HS2 executives over plans to transform the zoo car park into an HS2 lorry depot.

The area is said to be home to a “hot spot” of hedgehogs, which has become a protected species as numbers decline across the UK.


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A ZSL spokesman said: “As a conservation charity, ZSL is concerned with the potential impact of the HS2 proposals on the population of hedgehogs and any other fauna that reside in the Gloucester Slips car park and surrounding area of Regent’s Park.

“We are currently in discussion with HS2 regarding mitigation measures that may be taken to protect the hedgehogs and any alternative measures that are available for the car park.”

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And it’s not just zoo chiefs defending the plight of this protected species.

Stanley Johnson, father of London Mayor Boris, has also taken it upon himself to bring the hedgehog’s battle to the doors of HS2.

The Park Village East resident, who is a fervent opponent of HS2, wrote in the New Statesman: “It is not just people we are talking about here. We must hope that ZSL and others will strike a blow for the wonderful Regent’s Park, hedgehogs included.”

Ben Ruse, HS2 Ltd lead spokesman, said: “Environmental protection is a cornerstone of the project. The protection of all wildlife, including hedgehogs, will be a key consideration in the design for the lorry holding area and of any replacement parking that may be required.

“We are working with the Royal Parks, ZSL and all relevant parties to understand their concerns and explore what further specific action may be required.”

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