Harper Adams University was awarded Bronze accreditation to the Hedgehog Friendly campus scheme, a national project funded by The British Hedgehog Preservation Society.
The campaign saw a further 39 other universities receiving the Bronze award and 20 universities reaching the silver accreditation in February 2021.
At Harper Adams, our HFC team is a collaboration of staff from the Sustainability and Grounds Maintenance team and Veterinary Health and Animal Sciences Department, with many of our campaigns open to student involvement, these being led by Lauren James (second year, Applied Zoology).
To date the Harper HFC team have implemented the following actions to meet the Bronze award:
- Promoted campaigns and petitions for better hedgehog protection whilst raising general awareness of the plight of the hedgehog through the creation of an Instagram account - @hedgehogs_atharperadams
- Helped rescue Harry the Hedgehog after he was found on campus grounds in poor health being very underweight
- Built Harry a new hedgehog house located on campus as part of his reintroduction to the local environment following a successful rehabilitation at a local animal rescue centre
- Raised awareness of the dangers hedgehogs can face during bonfire week through the circulation of awareness material and an on-campus cake sale with donations going to The British Hedgehog Preservation Society
- Received hedgehog ecology, land management and first aid training for the University grounds team, who have also installed ‘precaution’ stickers on all relevant ground maintenance machinery that could harm hedgehogs e.g. strimmers and mowers.
The next steps and opportunities for involvement in the lead up to the Silver Accreditation include:
- Undertaking a hedgehog survey on the campus grounds with training provided by the HFC charity
- Work in campus permeability to ensure connected habitats
- Staff and students litter picks around the campus and local area
- Fundraising events in aid of Hedgehog Awareness Week (May 2021)
All of this work is helping to bring back hedgehogs from the brink of extinction.
Did you know?
- Hedgehogs are officially listed as Vulnerable to Extinction on Britain’s IUCN Red List
- They have declined around 50% in rural areas and 30% in urban areas since 2000