University earns gold award for work to protect hedgehogs

We are delighted to announce that the University of Kent has been awarded the gold Hedgehog Friendly Campus award!

The Hedgehog Friendly Campus is a programme funded by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society. The aim is to offer support to staff and students at Universities to encourage impactful changes for hedgehogs. Hedgehogs in the UK aren’t just in a prickly situation, they’re in danger.

Hedgehog populations have plummeted by 50% since 2000. They are threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation, struggles to find food and water, littering, poisoning, and traffic on the roads.

Since the University joined the programme in 2019, we have been striving to ensure our campus is a safe place for hedgehogs to live. Some of our initiatives include:

  1. The Landscape and Grounds team undertaking a training course to make them aware of the dangers hedgehogs face and what to do if they find a hedgehog that needs help.
  2. The Grounds team making our campus more accessible to hedgehogs by raising the height of fences, leaving areas of suitable habitat untouched, and by installing ramps into steep-sided ponds. Hedgehogs are strong swimmers, but they may get stuck if there’s no way out!
  3. Informative stickers being placed on machinery such as mowers and strimmers to remind the team to check for hedgehogs before using any equipment.
  4. Regular meetings being held to discuss progress, leading to organised litter picks and surveys across campus.
  5. New road signs around campus to make drivers aware that hedgehogs could be crossing.

Check out thevideoson our webpage for more information. Now we have achieved Gold, we are aiming to expand the work we do for hedgehogs as well as many other species. We will soon be transforming the Hedgehog Friendly Campus working group into a new ‘Biodiversity Forum’. This will have a broader focus on the wide variety of biodiversity that is present on our campuses.

If you are interested in becoming part of the new Biodiversity Forum or working on any other biodiversity or sustainability projects at the University of Kent, please email the Sustainability Team