Bath Spa University receives Bronze Accreditation from British Hedgehog Preservation SocietyThursday, 11 March, 2021
Bath Spa University is now a recognised Hedgehog Friendly Campus having been awarded a Bronze Accreditation by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society.
Over the last few months, a team of students and staff from the University known as the Hedgehog Friendly Campus Team have been raising awareness of the prickly yet peaceful species’ presence at its Newton Park campus, and making changes to the environment as a result.
Using information gained from a student survey about the animals’ sightings, hedgehog houses were installed to support those heading into hibernation. While the hedgehogs were in hibernation, the team continued to support them by informing campus users about the increasing threats they are facing including habitat loss, and the dangers of litter, and roads.
That is not all, the Hedgehog Friendly Campus Team also held a hedgehog-themed online bake off, and students and staff raised funds for the British Hedgehog Preservation Society by teaming up with the University’s Walking and Mountaineering Society for a 50km walking challenge, raising £130.
The University’s Grounds Team have also supported by attending training sessions, placing hedgehog warning stickers on machinery, and making safety alterations to cattle grids and ponds on campus.
The campaigners’ next steps will focus on rewilding on campus and in the local community. Talking about this, Laura Allen, MA Heritage Management student and Hedgehog Friendly Campus Team Lead said: “Rewilding is vital in helping hedgehogs as it allows spaces to become hedgehog friendly as well as supporting other species. Rewilding can involve moving away from having ‘tidy’ gardens to include wildflower patches, log piles, compost heaps and gaps in fences.
“As a result of rewilding more wildlife will be encouraged in, to provide hedgehogs with a source of food, and shelter for hibernation with wildlife corridors allowing easier navigation between habitats.”
In addition, the team is encouraging drivers to slow down for wildlife in order to avoid hedgehogs becoming roadkill. Sadly, it is estimated that up to 335,000 hogs are killed on UK roads each year. As part of the team’s campaigning, hedgehog ‘ghosts’ will soon be appearing in campus windows and on social media using the hashtag #MakingACampusThatCares.
As hedgehogs begin to emerge from hibernation, the team will continue their efforts and start to work towards the Silver Accreditation. This will involve conducting more hedgehog surveys, encouraging hedgehog friendly changes on campus via policy and practice, and communicating to the wider community.