The Independent London Newspaper



The Xtra Diary: Stanley steps in to help the zoo hedgehogs

Stanley Johnson: Sad HS2 is ‘riding rough­shod’ over hedgehogs!

Published: 9 September, 2016

STANLEY Johnson was a very vocal campaigner against the High Speed 2 railway until earlier this year when he sold his home and moved out of the path of the route.

Since the sale of his home under the government’s “need to sell scheme”, however, he has not been heard so often on the airwaves.

But the father of Boris Johnson leapt back into the fold this week, sending support for the London Zoo in its campaign to stop HS2 seizing its large car park at the expense of rare hedgehogs that live in its dense shrubbery borders. 

Representatives of the zoo are due to appear before a House of Lords select committee next week in a final bid to get the plan changed.

Mr Johnson told Diary he wished the zoo “every success” in their case, adding: “I tremendously admire the fight ZSL and others are putting up on behalf of these poor animals. 

“It is desperately sad that HS2 seems determined to ride roughshod over one of the most important populations of this threatened species.”

Surveys carried out by the Zoological Society of London and Royal Parks Foundation have found they are fairing better than those in the actual park – though it is not known why. 

Zoological director David Field said: “It may seem strange that we’re seeking protection for a car park, but this is an example of the increasingly desperate reality for urban wildlife. 

“They are forced by human pressures to find sanctuary in the unlikeliest of places, and it is our duty to protect the remaining refuges of these creatures.”

An HS2 spokes­man said the zoo’s car park was its “preferred option” to park its lorries. 


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