What is a Hedgehog Friendly Campus?
A Hedgehog Friendly Campus is a university campus, school or college who has joined a campaign created by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) to make their estates a safe and habitable environment for hedgehogs. The campaign also helps to raise awareness toward hedgehog conservation. Newcastle University first joined the campaign in 2019 and became a silver award winning campus in January of 2022.
Why are hedgehog friendly campuses needed?
As of July 2022, hedgehogs are now classed as vulnerable to extinction within the United Kingdom according to the latest State of Britain’s Hedgehogs Report.
Hedgehog numbers in rural areas have been dropping for many years. According to the report, hedgehog numbers are down by 30-75% since 2000, depending on the area of the UK.
What is being done to enable Newcastle University becoming a gold award winning Hedgehog Friendly Campus?
This year a big achievement towards the gold award was raising £321.05 for the British Hedgehog Preservation Society by running a bake sale during Hedgehog Awareness Week. This was a collaborative effort between the Sustainability Team and the School of Natural and Environmental Sciences (SNES). Students and colleagues created some wonderful hedgehog-themed bakes and were very generous in their donations to aid in hedgehog conservation.
We would love colleagues and students to sign up to become Hedgehog Champions through Hedgehog Street. You would be joining thousands of people who have decided to look out for hedgehogs in their local community, you will also have access to many useful resources.
If just 25 colleagues or students register as a Hedgehog Champion, this counts towards Gold! If you sign up, please forward your confirmation email onto firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are an academic and would like to consider hedgehog decline and solutions to it within your curriculum, please contact email@example.com
This could be part of any degree; this is not traditional science degree specific!
We plan to do some campus hedgehog surveys next year during the survey season of April-September, so please keep an eye out for some volunteering opportunities.
A couple of tips to help keep hedgehogs safe over the next few weeks:
- Hedgehogs and Halloween: Do not leave carved pumpkins on the ground outdoors. Pumpkins cause digestion issues for hedgehogs, and this can lead to dehydration which is bad for creatures that hibernate.
- Hedgehogs and bonfire night: Hedgehogs like to hide in piles of wood and leaves, therefore it is important to not make the bonfire long before lighting and to ensure you check the bonfire for hedgehogs before lighting to ensure none have snuck in and made themselves a home inside or underneath.
- Hedgehogs and hibernation: To ensure hedgehogs have a way of exploring and roaming across lots of green space, people with gardens can help them roam by creating a ‘hedgehog highway’ in their garden. To do this simply create a hole in your fence or gates on the ground, it needs to be around the size of 13cm x 13cm square to allow for hedgehogs to cross boundaries easily so they can find what they are looking for in a habitat, food, or water.
- Another tip if you would like to help hedgehogs with hibernation is to build a hedgehog house in your garden. This acts as a ready-made home for hedgehogs who are struggling to find a sufficient habitat. To make one simply follow the tips linked below that are provided by the Woodland Trust. How to make a hedgehog house – Woodland Trust
- If you have a garden and you would like to make it more hedgehog and wildlife-friendly, see the People’s Trust for Endangered Species’ Top 10 Tips.
Please let us know in the comments or via sustainable campus if you have any questions or ideas regarding Hedgehog Friendly Campus.
Thanks for reading and watch this space for next week’s blog post!