The University of Bradford has been awarded a Hedgehog Friendly Campus bronze award by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society.
The award marks the culmination of months of hard work to ensure the University’s campus is as friendly as possible for hedgehogs, which are now considered endangered in the UK.
- Setting special hedgehog tunnels on campus
- Creating bug hotels and conducting litter picks
- ‘Rewilding’ certain areas
- Ensure grounds staff are aware of habitat spaces
- Formation of activity group to report sightings
Chief finance officer Stuart McKinnon-Evans, who has championed the cause, said: “I am delighted we have secured bronze. This is testimony to the hard work by staff and students to make the natural habits on-site more hedgehog-friendly.
“Our ambition now is to head for silver status on behalf of our prickly friends. Strengthening biodiversity on our campus and enhancing the ecosystem in our corner of Bradford also support our important Sustainability programme.”
Hedgehog populations today are estimated to be between 500,000 and 1m, compared to about 36m in the 1960s.
Richard Hirst, building operations manager, added work towards securing a silver award would include things like creating ‘low mow’ areas, introducing more green spaces across campus, adding log piles and promoting awareness days, including carrying out surveys and working with local schools.
He said: “This is recognition of the hard work between the University’s Grounds Team, the Students’ Union and the University Executive.
“This journey commenced with the appointment of a new head gardener to oversee the changes in the external environment. In addition to providing spaces and habitats for hedgehogs developments in the grounds, we will also improve planting for pollinators, in particular, the resident bees and we will be rewilding part of the campus to enhance biodiversity.”
How to help a hedgehog
If you see an injured hedgehog – or see one out during daylight (which is abnormal), contact British Hedgehog Preservation Society – www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk – or call 01584 890 801 in case of emergency.