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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.

To follow campaign progress, search for the hashtag #HogFriendlySparsholt. If you are a passionate student who would like to get involved in this campaign, please email studyplus@sparsholt.ac.uk for more information on how to join the environmental society 

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 that 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.”

Some facts about hedgehogs…

  • Hedgehogs are nocturnal creatures
  • They are great for garden pest control
  • They can reach speeds of up to 10 miles per hour
  • A baby hedgehog is called a hoglet
  • When they are born they don’t have any spines
  • numbers have declined by over 30% since 2000

What we have done this year to work towards our Bronze Award? 

In 2021 so far, we have:

  • Created a Hedgehog Friendly Campus working group and held several meetings with both staff and students from our Environmental Society.
  • Created a display board full of information about hedgehogs and to take away leaflets for further reading
  • Built a hedgehog house
  • Began to raise money for the British Hedgehog Preservation Society
  • Added stickers to strimming equipment used by our grounds team.
  • Arranged Litter Picks around campus open for all to take part
  • Added to and improved our number bug hotels around campus
  • Shouted about Hedgehogs on our social media channels
  • Promoted our first of our Hedgehog Friendly Blogs written by one of our fantastic students to spread the word on easy ways to be more hedgehog friendly
  • Promoted our Hedgehog Friendly Campaign within our Staff Newsletter
  • Created this hub page on our website to fill with the most up to date information about our Hedgehog Friendly Campus Journey

We have even more planned for next year so what better time to join our Environmental Society! 

What you can do at home and around campus

  • Check grass and hedges in your garden before cutting
  • Avoid using pesticides and slug pellets
  • Leave out some water & meaty cat or dog food
  • Leave a wild corner in your garden
  • Build a hedgehog highway – we’ll be running a campaign on hedgehog highways in 2021 so follow us on social media to find out exactly what to do and why this is important
  • Don’t drop litter
  • Make sure and ponds have an escape route

 

Have you seen a hedghog?

If you have spotted one of these creatures head over to the big hedgehog map to report your sighting, or even if you haven’t yet, why not find out how many hogs have been sighted near you?

Find out more….

https://www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk/

https://www.greenimpact.org.uk/hedgehogfriendlycampus