Staff at York St. John University have always been aware of the presence of hedgehogs around campus and in my first month as a member of the gardening team I was shown a nesting hedgehog!
Hedgehog numbers have plummeted by half in UK countryside since 2000 but urban hedgehogs may offer a glimmer of hope.
The grounds team have made provisions for them for example by providing hedgehog houses made by the in house joinery department and by managing gardening practices to help them.
This is why we have decided to go for hedgehog friendly campus ‘Bronze’ certification through Hedgehog Friendly Campus https://www.greenimpact.org.uk/hedgehogfriendlycampus and in doing so hope to educate ourselves further and raise awareness of hedgehogs to staff and students at York St. John University.
On Thursday 12 December staff hosted an awareness day with information for staff and students and were able to raise funds for the hedgehog preservation society. Hedgehog Friendly Campus is wholly funded by Hedgehog preservation society. https://www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk/
There are hedgehogs on campus often living in the shrubbery and we have put out bespoke hedgehog houses on different sites; this include log piles and we put out water bowls in warm weather.
What can you do to help?
Here are a few pointers
- Keep dogs on a lead
- Cycle slowly around campus
- Pick up litter
- Do not use pesticides or slug pellets in your wildlife garden
- Leave out water bowls
- Only feed hedgehog approved food (refresh daily)
- Leave space under fences for hedgehogs to get under
- If you find a sick or injured hedgehog/ a hedgehog out in the day contact the garden team or ….
Further info can be found at https://www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk/