Hedgehog Friendly Campus
In January, the University of Edinburgh was awarded bronze accreditation as a Hedgehog Friendly Campus.
Since April 2019, staff and students have engaged in various activities to make the accreditation possible.
Training was provided for 20 volunteers who carried out a hedgehog footprint survey on the Easter Bush campus. Hog prints were found in three locations, as a result cameras were set up in these locations to gather further evidence of their presence.
A similar footprint survey at Pollock Halls also had positive results. The Landscape team currently have the survey equipment safely stored until spring when hedgehogs will come out of hibernation.
Other Hedgehog Friendly activities have included:
- Workshops to build hedgehog houses
- Information leaflets available at Easter Bush and Pollock Halls
- The Landscape team have taken part in training on what to do if they find a hedgehog
- Social media posts using #HedgehogFriendlyUoE
Hedgehogs in the UK
The number of hedgehogs in the UK has fallen by up to a half since 2000. It is estimated there are fewer than one million left.
Increasing habitat loss in rural areas means hedgehogs are moving into more built-up areas. Urban areas present the creatures with a host of challenges including road traffic, litter, poisoning and lack of access to food and water.
22 other Universities across the UK have also been bronze accredited and more campuses are joining the campaign to help protect hedgehogs.
Niamh Kinch, a second-year Veterinary student based at the Easter Bush campus, has written a blog about her experience with the national campaign: https://blog.sustainability.ed.ac.uk/2019/niamh-kinch-hedgehogs
In 2020 the University will be working towards the Silver Award, if you would like to take part in a survey or help with events please contact SRS.Department@ed.ac.uk to register your interest.