The British hedgehog population has declined by up to half since the year 2000 but at Sparsholt College and University Centre Sparsholt are doing our bit by joining the British Hedgehog Preservation Society campaign to make the campus even more hedgehog friendly.
The project is part of a new campaign by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society that turns university and college campuses across the country into places where hedgehogs can thrive. A number of volunteer students and staff members have already become hedgehog ambassadors to help push the scheme forward to achieve our first ‘bronze’ award by planning to complete tasks such as campus litter picks, creating hedgehog houses, delivering information about hedgehogs and how to preserve them on social media – and letting colleagues know about the group in the staff newsletter!
British educational establishments like Sparsholt have been chosen to join the campaign to create litter-free environments with joined up habitats and opportunities for hedgehogs to eat, drink and nest, due to campuses like Sparsholt’s generally possessing large estates with favourable habitat for hedgehogs.
Nicola Edwards, HE Wildlife Ecology and Conservation lecturer and has been one of the ‘Hedgehog Champions’ planning and coordinating the first activities which will happen between now and December 2021. Nicola says, “We’re delighted by the high level of interest we’ve received from staff and students about this campaign. Hedgehogs are now classified as vulnerable to extinction in the UK and we’ll be working to turn the Sparsholt campus into even more of a hedgehog friendly habitat than it already is.”
Vicki Fraser (Animal Management FE Lecturer) along with Animal Management students is developing safe living spaces for hedgehogs around campus and also raising awareness about the impact upon littering to the species. Vicki says, “It is such a good initiative and a great collaboration between multiple departments.”
To follow campaign progress on social media search for the hashtag #HogFriendlySparsholt.