2. Why do we consider hedgehogs?
Hedgehogs are not fully protected in the same way as bats or newts (whereby the animals and their resting places are protected from damage and destruction). However, hedgehogs are listed on Section 41 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 (more commonly abbreviated to the NERC Act). Section 41 draws upon the UK BAP List of Priority Species and Habitats.
What this means for development is that the NERC Act places a duty on Local Planning Authorities in England to have due regard to biodiversity, and in particular, the 943 species of principal importance, as listed under Section 41 of NERC (2006). These include certain species of plants, mammals, birds, invertebrates, amphibians, reptiles, fish and fungi. Hedgehogs are listed as a species of principal importance. You can find the full list of Section 41 species on the Natural History Museum website here.
However, no specific surveys are needed prior to works on sites that may support hedgehogs.