A new road sign is being introduced across the UK to warn drivers of small animals on the road.
The sign, depicting a hedgehog, isn’t just to warn motorists of the presence of the prickly animals alone but aims to highlight all manner of small wild mammals that could be on the road.
Transport secretary Chris Grayling said: “We have some of the safest roads in the world but we are always looking at how we can make them safer.
“The new small mammal warning sign should help to reduce the number of people killed and injured, as well as helping our precious small wild mammal population to flourish.”
Wildlife numbers have been in steady decline for many years now, with the number of hedgehogs in rural areas already halved since 2000.
It joins other signs that warn drivers about small animals such as toads and wildfowl, as well as larger animals like deer and livestock.
Jill Nelson, chief executive of the People’s Trust for Endangered Species, said: “We welcome this focus on road safety and protection for all small mammals.”
The signs will be in areas where there are large concentrations of smaller animals, warning drivers of the presence of squirrels, badgers, otters and – of course – hedgehogs.