Did you know?
Did you know that the European hedgehog is the UKs only native spiny mammal? That they have tiny tails of about 2cm, but they are hidden under their spines? Or that the average hedgehog can roam for around 2km a night? Cute!
Did you also know that the hedgehog population is declining faster than the tiger population worldwide? As a result of urban areas preventing roaming; neatly kept gardens reducing food sources and busy roads, the hedgehog population is dwindling. Due to this decrease in hedgehog numbers, they have been placed on a list of vulnerable species, which require urgent and drastic attention, without this action, the hedgehog could become a creature that our grandchildren never see for themselves.
However, never fear! The Sustainability Team have got loads of ways to help our spiny little friends! You could set up a hedgehog house, a ramp from a pond or even add to the hedgehog highways! Something as simple as putting some food and water out for them could be a massive help to their survival.
How to help
What would a hedgehog like? Well, firstly, avoid putting milk out for hedgehog as they are lactose intolerant, so just a bowl of water will give them a tasty drink. When it comes to food, you can put out any dog or cat food that you already have, however, if you are worried about attracting rats, there are some ways to avoid this. Firstly, rats prefer to eat under cover, so try moving your food bowl to an open space, as a hedgehog will not mind eating in the open with a quiet observer. Further, if wet food seems to bringing rats to your hedgehog sanctuary, switch to a dry cat food, and even better, grind the food into smaller chunks so a rat couldn’t carry it, as they will sometimes take chunks of food back to nests. If the ground up dry food still doesn’t help, try an all-natural hedgehog feeding centre, a hedgehogs natural diet of slugs, beetles, caterpillars and snails will still be a tasty treat for your prickly pals and rats will not bother with their dinner!
Leeds Beckett as a Hedgehog Friendly Campus
The Sustainability Team are doing our part too on campus after the exciting arrival of out Hedgehog Friendly Campus Toolkit! With this toolkit, there are plenty of exciting opportunities and activities; fundraisers, advertising events and building projects!! Our garden space at Headingly Campus has lots of space for them to roam and hedgerows to give protection from predators. Our Green Impacts teams are also putting in some amazing hedgehog houses to provide plenty of spaces for safe hibernation.
If you're a Leeds Beckett student or staff member you can join our Hedgehog Friendly campus team at Hedgehog Friendly Campus register and use the registration code 192.
Or you could visit Hedgehog Street for more resources, pictures and advice on how to help the hogs.
If you're a Leeds Beckett Staff member and are interested in starting or joining your own Green Impacts Team go to Green Impacts Register and use the registration code 147 to join or create your own team.
Follow us on social media
If you get involved in hedgehog helping, post and tag us in pictures of any houses, ramps, highways or hedgehogs on twitter (@BeckettSustain) Facebook (Sustainability Leeds Beckett) or Instagram (@BeckettSustainability).
Follow us to keep up with the Leeds Beckett Sustainability Team.