The Hedgehog Friendly Campus is an important initiative, set up by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society!
Hedgehog populations have decreased by 30% in urban areas, and by 50% in rural areas over the last 20 years. Currently hedgehogs are listed on the IUCN’s red list for British mammals, classified as vulnerable to extinction. With the University covering around 290 hectares of land, it’s really important to make campus a place that is friendly for Hedgehogs!
The university recognises the importance of biodiversity for people and the planet and as such ‘achieving ecology and biodiversity net gain’ is one of five pathways in our soon to be published 'Way to Sustainable' strategy. We are committed to protecting, creating and enhancing spaces for wildlife and the Hedgehog Friendly Campus initiative is a key aspect, which also recognises the importance of working with staff, students and the local community.
Staff and students started work on the criteria required to achieve the Bronze Award in September 2021. The Hedgehog Friendly Working Group was established and regular meetings took place to discuss work on campus and next steps. Efforts included:
- Hedgehog houses built by University carpenters were distributed around campus by the Grounds Team, providing a safe space for hedgehogs to hibernate.
- Bug hotels were created in a number of locations across campus including at Tocil Lakes, providing food for any nearby hogs.
- Warwick Plogging and a number of staff litter picks have helped keep campus safe for hogs! Litter is really dangerous for wildlife, and hedgehogs can get easily caught up in and injured by rubbish.
- Regular posts with hedgehog related information have been put on social media pages, on the Warwick Sustainability website, and on the new Warwick Sustainability blog. This has included how to have a hedgehog friendly Bonfire Night, how to help hedgehogs where you live and what to do if you find an injured/sick hog. Keep an eye out for more advice that will be posted throughout this year!
- Stickers have been placed on all strimmers and mowers to remind the Grounds team to check for hedgehogs before doing work on campus.
- Posters and flyers have been put up around campus with information about our work in the grounds as well as and general information about hedgehog populations in the UK.
The Hedgehog Friendly Working Group are now working towards achieving the Silver Hedgehog Friendly Campus award during 2022. This includes making plans for a launch event, pond audit surveys to check ponds and lakes on campus are safe for hogs and future litter picking events.
Please get in touch if you would like to get involved and help the team achieve the Silver accreditation!