Hedgehogs frequently poll as one of the nations most loved and familiar wild mammals, but despite this their numbers have plummeted by half in the last two decades.

The Hedgehog Friendly Campus campaign is funded by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society and encourages educations establishments including universities, colleges and schools, which often have green areas potentially perfect for out prickly pals, to incorporate hedgehog friendly actions across their estate.

The campaign at BGU has been coordinated by BG Students’ Union which has worked a number of teams across campus including Estates to incorporate a number of changes and adaptions to achieve a bronze award in the 2020/21 academic year, and now the silver award.

Across BGU you will spot hedgehog friendly plants and species, plus a low maintenance areas of bee orchids (native wildflowers) that are left to be wild between February and August for the benefits of wildlife, plus many other things you may not see, including stickers on strimming equipment used by estate maintenance teams, or engagement efforts with the local community to encourage pledges to reduce litter, cover drains or reduce pesticides use.

Students and staff may have even already taken part in organised litter picks, hedgehog surveys (which Jonte the campus cat was also caught walking across) or fundraising events at the Students’ Union.

Kaylee Hempenstall, leader for the project said: “BGU is naturally quite a hedgehog friendly campus due to green areas and foliage we’re lucky to have, but there’s still been a number of improvements we’ve been able to incorporate to make it even more welcoming for out spikey friends.

“Lots more work is needed to get the gold accreditation, which could include adding hedgehog highways, work the community or even incorporating hedgehog friendly practices into our syllabus on any relevant courses, so we’re very welcoming of any new volunteers who would like to take part in the cause – as well as being worthwhile and fun, it is also an interesting boost to your CV!”

If you’d like to get involved with Hedgehog Friendly Campus at BGU, message @bguhedgehogs on Instagram or Facebook or email Kaylee.hempenstall@bishopg.ac.uk

11th February 2022