Staff and student volunteers have spent the last few months working to make the Sparsholt College and University Centre Campus hedgehog friendly, after joining the Hedgehog Friendly Campus scheme in May 2021.
Funded by The British Hedgehog Preservation Society (TBHPS), the national campaign is designed to safeguard the hedgehog population and turn colleges and universities into a safe space where they can thrive.
Sparsholt’s Hedgehog Friendly Campus team has triumphed in turning the campus into a sanctuary for prickly visitors by completing a list of bronze objectives including creating a Hedgehog Friendly Campus working group involving students from the campus’ Environmental society, building a hedgehog house, adding stickers to the Grounds Team’s strimming equipment, organising Litter Picks around campus and encouraging students to write Hedgehog Friendly Blogs for the dedicated Hedgehog Friendly campus webpage.
Hedgehog Friendly Campus Programme manager, Jo Wilkinson, says “Hedgehogs have declined by up to 50% in the UK since just the year 2000. They are now vulnerable to extinction in Britain, due to things like habitat loss, development, roads and garden hazards. Campuses, whether they’re urban or rural, can do great things to help hedgehogs and raise awareness of their plight.”
Since 2019, the programme has worked with over 150 universities, further education colleges and primary schools all working towards Bronze, Silver or Gold accreditation. Teams have been installing log piles and hedgehog houses, as well as litter picking and taking part in campus hedgehog surveys.
Nicola Edwards, Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Lecturer and Hedgehog Friendly Champion, added: “Hedgehog Friendly Campus is a fantastic initiative and a lovely project to be involved with. We are so proud that we have been able to continue to contribute towards helping wildlife on the Sparsholt Campus and I am hoping that we can welcome more staff and students to the team as we work towards our Silver accreditation.”