Working towards becoming a Hedgehog Friendly Campus!
The University of Bristol is working towards achieving a Bronze Award as part of the Hedgehog Friendly Campus national accreditation scheme funded by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society.
In the UK, hedgehog numbers have fallen by at least 30% since 2000. This decline can be attributed to a multitude of reasons such as the widespread use of pesticides reducing the amount of invertebrate prey for hedgehogs and the increasing number of gardens being converted to car parking spaces or decking. With hedgehog numbers declining rapidly, it is critical now more than ever to take action to conserve the UK’s hedgehogs to in order ensure their survival.
The Hedgehog Friendly Campus accreditation scheme recognises the large impact that Universities can have on hedgehog populations due to the large expanses of land they own and the pressure they exert on the natural environment. The University of Bristol has signed up to the accreditation scheme to help the survival of hedgehogs on campus and beyond. The University’s Hedgehog Friendly Campus Working Group was officially formed in October 2018 with members form the External Estates team, the Life Sciences building, the Sustainability Department, the Students’ Union as well as members from student societies.
The launch event for the University’s campaign to become a hedgehog friendly campus saw 50 staff and students come to hear Yvonne Cox from Hedgehog Rescue deliver a talk about hedgehog conservation and to find out how to get involved. This was an incredible to start to the campaign and gave the working group huge momentum in going forward. Already the student groups Bristol Against Plastic and the Bristol University Conservation Group organised a student litter pick on Brandon Hill in collaboration with the Sustainability Department and Bristol Waste. This event saw 30 students volunteer removing 15 bags of rubbish. This litter pick immediately increased the safety of the area as hedgehogs can easily become trapped in litter.
The University is continuing to work towards achieving a Bronze Award but help is needed! If you would like to get involved you can join the University of Bristol Hedgehog Friendly Campus working group on Facebook. Events, meetings and volunteering opportunities will all be posted to this group. All students and staff are welcome to join!