Following the success of last weekend’s RSPB Birdwatch, motoring enthusiast Jeremy Clarkson has launched another nationwide nature survey – Squashed Animal Watch.
‘We are asking people all over the country to spend one hour looking out for flattened road-kill and then just take five minutes to enter the results on the Top Gear website.’ Early statistical returns show high numbers for traditional British favourites, crushed hedgehogs, mangled grey squirrels and lots of perfectly preserved completely flat frogs and toads.
However there are concerns that some over-enthusiastic Top Gear fans are artificially boosting their statistics by deliberately going around running over small furry animals. A National Park warden from Dartmoor said ‘We have had reports of middle aged men in mid-range sports cars, driving at speed at rabbits, crows and a badger. One bloke actually took the trouble to reverse over a pygmy shrew. In a steamroller.’
But Clarkson defended the cars versus nature initiative. ‘No doubt we’ll get the usual whinging from the politically correct, bunny-huggers, but this about understand the survival of the fittest. The hedgehog’s natural predator is now the 4×4. So it’s important that we have accurate statistics for how many animals are failing to get out of the way of British motorists. And then next year we can try and improve on that figure…’