The University of Hull has pledged to create a hedgehog-friendly campus by signing up to a national scheme that aims to protect the animal’s population.
The Hedgehog Friendly Campus initiative encourages universities, schools and colleges across the country to make improvements to campus grounds, creating safe and secure spaces for hedgehogs to live.
A team of students and staff are supporting the campaign by becoming Hedgehog Champions for the university and recruiting enthusiastic staff and students to get involved and become Hedgehog Ambassadors. They and are currently working towards a bronze accreditation that recognises significant improvements made.
The initiative forms part of the university’s wider strategy to increase biodiversity on campus and become a more sustainable organisation, with the aim of being a carbon neutral campus by 2027.
Dr Lesley Morrell, associate dean for education (Faculty of Science and Engineering), said: “As a team, we are excited to be taking part in the Hedgehog Friendly Campus campaign to drive positive change in biodiversity.
“By joining the scheme, we are taking responsibility and pledging to make our university campus a safe and welcoming environment for hedgehogs seeking shelter.
“The initiative is entirely free, and in the early stages focuses on raising awareness about some of the threats and dangers hedgehogs face in everyday life.”
To achieve bronze accreditation, the University of Hull must meet 10 criteria set out by the initiative. The team hopes to complete this first step by the end of the year.
Actions already completed include installing bug houses around campus and attaching hedgehog awareness stickers on strimmers.
Other activities thatcan be completed to secure bronze accreditation include organising campus litter picks, engaging with local schools around hedgehog conservation, and installing visible houses for hedgehogs to seek warmth and shelter.
Hedgehogs are listed as ‘vulnerable’ in England, Scotland and Wales – according to The Mammal Society – and with populations threatened across the country, the Hedgehog Friendly Campus initiative is an important scheme to protect the species from further dangers.
To find out more information about the Hedgehog Friendly Campus initiative, visit greenimpact.org.uk/hedgehogfriendlycampus.
You can also keep up with the university’s progress on Twitter by following @UoHHedgehogs.