The Hedgehog Friendly Campus scheme aims to raise awareness of the plight of hedgehog while taking practical steps to improve habitats and circumstances for hedgehogs across university campuses.
The UK’s favourite spiny mammals are in trouble. Since the beginning of the 21st century, the number of hedgehogs in rural areas has plummeted by as much as 50% and in urban gardens by 30%. This means that hedgehogs are moving out of their rural homes and into built areas where they face a whole host of challenges, including road traffic, litter, poisoning and lack of access to food and water.
As of 2020 there is an estimated number of just a million hedgehogs left, representing a 97% fall from the 30 million who once roamed the UK in the 1950s. If we don’t do something soon, this iconic mammal is likely to be a thing of the past in the UK.
Hedgehog Friendly Campus is a campaign that wants to arm a new generation of hedgehog champions with the skills and knowledge to give the dwindling hedgehog population a fighting chance. It will educate our staff, students and the surrounding community about hedgehog friendly behaviour, both on campus and at home.
The Hedgehog Friendly Campus scheme is sponsored by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) and has three levels, bronze, silver and gold. We are aiming to obtain the bronze level in 2020/21. To obtain accreditation, we have to fulfil 10 criteria out of a possible 18. These include holding hedgehog awareness events, making sure our gardeners and security teams are aware of what to do if they find an ill or distressed hedgehog, putting stickers on our strimmers to alert users to potential danger to hedgehogs, carrying out hedgehog surveys and raising money for the BHPS.