Schools, colleges and universities across the country have been recognised for their work to create hedgehog-friendly campuses by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS).
Despite being one of the UK’s most iconic mammals, hedgehogs are now classified as vulnerable to extinction. According to the BHPS, hedgehog numbers have declined by nearly 50% since the turn of the century.
The national Hedgehog Friendly Campus initiative encourages teams of staff and students at educational institutions to improve habitats for hedgehogs across their campuses and raise awareness of hedgehog-friendly actions.
13 universities across the UK achieved the Gold Accreditation at the Hedgehog Friendly Campus Awards 2021-22.
For one of the recipients, University of York, the award was a culmination of three years’ work which has seen staff and students create hedgehog-friendly habitat, install feeding stations and assist with surveying and rescuing injured animals.
Other initiatives carried out by University of York to achieve the accolade included:
- Raising awareness of what steps people can take to help hedgehogs, including hosting a public hedgehog awareness day on campus
- setting up trail cams on campus as part of the survey process
- the creation of a hedgehog friendly staff and student group to set out specific ecological measures
- Regular litter pick ups on campus
- Installation of hedgehog shelters around campus, which estates staff monitored and kept stocked with food
Other universities to receive the Gold accreditation were Bristol, Edinburgh, Essex, Fitzwilliam College Cambridge, Keele, Kent, Lincoln, Liverpool, Roehampton, UWE Bristol, Winchester and Worcester.
Cranfield University, one of the recipients of the BHPS bronze accreditation, actively engaged its staff and students in various initiatives to secure the award, including:
- Conducting hedgehog footprint surveys.
- Raising awareness across social media platforms.
- Maintaining ‘biodiversity action areas’ on campus.
- Building hedgehog houses to put on campus.
Winning primary schools of BHPS gold award were Aspin Park Academy, Abernyte Primary School, Brackenfield School, Ysgol Gynradd Coed-y-Garn Primary School, Harrysmuir Primary School, Grappenhall Heys Primary School, Grandtully Primary School and Lord Deramore’s Primary School.
The full list of winners and more information on how institutions can get involved with the awards is available on the BHPS website.