Campus to create wildlife haven for hedgehogs
An initiative to protect hedgehogs has been launched at a University campus.
Easter Bush is taking part in a national campaign to raise awareness of the mammals’ plight and help safeguard their future.
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.
The University is working with partner organisations to educate staff, students and the neighbouring community about hedgehog friendly behaviour.
A hedgehog survey is being carried out to assess how many hedgehogs are in the area around the campus.
A team of around 20 volunteers installed ten small tunnels at different locations on campus. They will gauge hedgehog presence by tracking footprints.
Landscape experts are also creating habitats where the mammals can feed, shelter and breed.
The group hopes to develop student projects and share information with the wider community at the Easter Bush open day later this year.
Organisers say the project will help make Easter Bush – home to the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies and The Roslin Institute - suitable and safe for hedgehogs.
We launched the campaign as university campuses are often surrounded by land that can help hedgehogs thrive.
This is an exciting and valuable project where Easter Bush is working towards Hedgehog Friendly Campus accreditation. This is a project where staff, students and the community can all play a part in protecting their local wildlife.
The national campaign is funded by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society.