The Hedgehog Friendly Campus initiative is a national scheme run by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society designed to help universities become hedgehog friendly. Hedgehogs have declined in numbers by around a third since 2000. It is believed that since the 1950s, U.K. hedgehog population has diminished from 30 million down to around one million today. This is due to a range of factors including decline in habitat, overuse of pesticides reducing the number of invertebrates which hedgehogs eat, and urban areas fragmenting habitats.
UEA has joined the Hedgehog Friendly Campus initiative by creating a group who attempts to help increase hedgehog populations on university grounds, and thus get UEA accredited as hedgehog friendly. Our campus is particularly green and so potentially provides large spaces of ideal habitat for the animals. So far, most of the activities the group have carried out have been focused on raising awareness – you may have seen some of their poster campaigns, taken part in their quiz or bought a cake from at their fundraising bake sale in the Hive on 12 November.
This has just been the start, and the group are looking forward to next semester when they will be carrying out hedgehog surveys, continuing our work with the Grounds team to help make their activities more hedgehog friendly, and continuing to raise awareness of how to protect hedgehogs. If this is something you’d be interested in, the group have a meeting on 10th December which everyone is welcome to attend, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
In the meantime, there are ways you can help: leave a shallow bowl of water in your back garden or some dog or cat food, and if you see a hedgehog sunbathing, looking wobbly or unstable, or injured, pick it up using a fleece or towel and put it in a box with high sides and call BHPS on 01584 890801.