Update on Hedgehog Friendly Campus
Have you heard of our Hedgehog Friendly Campus campaign? The first of its kind on any university campus, to raise awareness of declining hedgehog populations across the UK.
During Sustainability Week 15 - 19 October we want to share the work that is happening to safeguard hedgehogs living right here on campus, including educating our staff, students and local community on ways to protect hedgehogs at home.
Since 2000, hedgehog populations have plummeted by 50 percent and habitat loss is causing the animals to move out of their rural homes into built areas. As a result, they face various challenges like litter, road traffic, poisoning and lack of access to water.
Jo Wilkinson, our previous Sustainability Projects Assistant and Green Impact Coordinator, developed the Hedgehog Friendly Campus campaign to help us do something at the University to help preserve the UK’s beloved mammal.
Helping hedgehogs on campus
Watch the video:
Since Hedgehog Friendly Campus was launched, we’ve held three Hedgehog Night Safaris in Weston Park. In total 90 staff, students and members of the public came along to the events to hunt for hedgehogs, investigate hedgehog footprints and taking part in a hedgehog survey across Sheffield. Every night participants were lucky enough to spot hedgehogs living right at the heart of campus in Weston Park.
Teams from Estates and Facilities Management have been supporting efforts to turn our campus into a hedgehog friendly environment. The grounds and landscape team have been working hard to make our green spaces more hedgehog friendly, including building hedgehog houses for hibernation. The estates development team plan to create hedgehog highways - small holes linking campus with the surrounding area, in any new building developments.
How you can help
There are a number of ways you can get involved in the campaign and help protect hedgehogs in your own back garden. Here are some tips:
- To enable hedgehogs to move from one garden to the next, cut a 13cm x 13cm hole in your fence or remove a brink from your garden wall. You’ll encourage more hedgehogs to enter the garden.
- Avoid using slug pellets in your garden as they are poisonous to hedgehogs. Opt instead for coffee grinds, egg shells or slug tape.
- If you have a pond, makes sure hedgehogs can escape if they fall in by adding steps or chicken wire around the sides.
- Maintain an overgrown area in your garden to encourage insects and supply shelter for hedgehogs.
- Log any any hedgehog you see on the Big Hedgehog Map, this helps conservationists to know where hedgehog populations are residing.
The campaign is continuing to develop, there will be a range of workshops taking place in the community, to teach people how they can care for hedgehogs as well as limit litter in Sheffield.