Hedgehog warning signs could be installed in Hampshire if evidence shows they are needed to protect them.

Last month the Department for Transport introduced changes to ensure councils can place ‘small wild animal’ warning signs where needed rather than applying to the department on a case-by-case basis.

In England hedgehogs are registered as vulnerable to extinction, with numbers falling by 30 per cent since 2000. In rural areas they have dropped by 75 per cent.

Transport secretary Mark Harper said: “These common sense changes will lead to more small animal signs across the country, cutting down on bureaucracy to help protect both drivers and small animals, improving safety on our roads and making sure fewer casualties are checked into wildlife hospitals.”

Currently there are no hedgehog warning signs on Hampshire roads, but now the county council can introduce them where there is evidence to justify the need.

In 2019 Hampshire was rated the top county for spotting hedgehogs, according to Hedgehog Street’s Big Hedgehog Map.