Hedgehogs saved from death by McFlurry
David and Goliath had nothing on this. One of Britain's smallest and least aggressive animal charities has coaxed a giant multinational into changing its ways - for the sake of the nation's hedgehogs.
The British Hedgehog Preservation Society (membership, 12,000, annual income, £126,088) has forced McDonald's (customers, 50 million a day, annual turnover $20.5bn) to spend a massive, but undisclosed, amount on redesigning the containers for its McFlurry Dessert, after one of the most genteel campaigns in conservation history.
From this month, every McFlurry slurped in Britain will be sold in a new hedgehog-friendly carton, after six years of pressure. The tiny, Ludlow-based society has succeeded where many well-known pressure groups have failed, humbling one of the world's biggest and most controversial companies .
It was in 2001 that a postman first found a hedgehog with its head stuck in a McFlurry carton, and alerted the society, in the first of hundreds of SOS calls. The sweet-toothed creatures were tempted into discarded tubs by the smell of the left-overs. They could get their heads in through a wide opening in their lids, but their spines stopped them from pulling out again.
Unless rescued they died of hunger and dehydration - "a nasty, gruesome death," says the society - or blundered blindly into ponds or streams or into the path of cars.
Five years ago, it started - politely, but firmly - asking McDonald's to change the carton. Hedgehog lovers were asked to write in - but nicely.
"Never criticise the company," urges one website. "Always show the utmost respect ... Do NOT write angry, threatening or sarcastic letters. Do NOT use foul language."
After a lengthy redesign, McDonald's has revealed a new lid with a smaller aperture. The victorious society responded with characteristic civility: "We are delighted. Many hedgehog lives will be saved."
From the blogs
David Prior's very personal reason for thinkg that investigators need appropriate expertise
Dozens of empty homes in two of Liverpool’s most deprived areas will be brought back into use thanks...
As a reluctant vegetarian (so reluctant that I'm not vegetarian at all) and a reluctant risotto eate...
Time for the monthly treat from David Hayes, who writes about British politics for the Australian In...
Lord Lawson's climate-change think tank risks being dismantled after complaint it persistently misled public
'To farm I have to rape the countryside. It’s got to be wrong': The true effect of the badger cull
Mind how ewe go: the sheep-eating killer plant that’s ready to bloom
The 10 best folding bikes
10 best hiking boots
- 1 Serena Williams apologises after comment that rape victim 'shouldn't have put herself in that position'
- 2 Disability campaigners celebrate 'victory' after government rethink over plans to make it more difficult to claim disability benefits
- 3 Bankers could face jail after report urges the Government to introduce new criminal offence for reckless management
- 4 Breaking the Silence: In the reality of occupation, there are no Palestinian civilians – only potential terrorists
- 5 We never knew Nigella Lawson - and we still don’t
£500 - £600 per day: Orgtel: FX Options Front Office Java / C# Developer - Ba...
£600 - £700 per day: Orgtel: Project Manager - Front Office - Regulatory IT C...
£33000 - £35000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...
£21000 - £22000 per annum: Randstad Education Chelmsford: NQTs required now fo...