Hedgehog friendly campus
The Hedgehog Friendly Campus scheme has been running at the University since 2019. The project has provided a platform for staff and students to drive all sorts of biodiversity benefits.
The Hedgehog Friendly Campus project has worked as a catalyst to allow staff and students from varied backgrounds and disciplines to work in partnerships across the estate to undertake a range of projects and initiatives. Going forward the Estates Landscape team will continue to work with partners to enhance greenspace and biodiversity of the estate for all users.
Hedgehog friendly campus student society
This is a group of student volunteers passionate about hedgehog conservation and making a positive change to our campuses.
The society organises and participates in on-campus hedgehog surveys, litter picks and biodiversity surveys, and is excited to be collaborating with other Scottish universities on raising awareness about hedgehogs in the UK.
No matter your background or degree programme, you're welcome to join their activities, that not only benefit hedgehogs but also promote human wellbeing and connection with nature.
In January 2022, the University of Edinburgh was awarded gold accreditation as a Hedgehog Friendly Campus.
Staff and student volunteers have taken action to survey hedgehogs, improve green spaces and communicate issues to make the University's campus a safe and welcoming place for hedgehogs.
Volunteers have surveyed Pollock Halls, Easter Bush, CRM at BioQuarter, Peffermill Playing Fields finding hedgehog prints at each site. Kings Buildings and Firbush were also surveyed, and we hope to find prints this year.
Read about what we're focusing on now for our next Hedgehog Friendly Campus submission. This year (2022), our species' focus is on flying creatures.
- We are reviewing rat bait box designs to determine the safest for hedgehogs.
- We will be trialling a non-lethal method to control seagulls at an accommodation site, the Scarem kite.
- Considering alternatives to lethal methods for controlling deer populations in woodland areas.
- Historical mapping of the campus, looking at locations of boundaries and wooded areas, and the increasing percentage of buildings on the campus. The earliest accurate maps also map individual trees, some of which can still be located.
- Survey of a selection of boundaries, some of which proved to be hedgerows, although not all in the best condition and some of which have been fence lines. Emily also looked at the permeability of these boundaries to wildlife, particularly hedgehogs, to allow free movement.
- Two small-scale studies looking for the presence of hedgehogs on campus, by using footprint tunnels and night survey with spotlights.
Data will be gathered from these activities to inform the conclusions about hedgerow health and what this might mean for hedgehogs on campus. Emily Norris, Vet School Student, is working on this project.
Emily Norris presents findings and recommendations from her Conservation Medicine MSc dissertation project, "Hedgehog Hedgerows: an assessment on Easter Bush campus", which was followed by a group discussion.