Hedgehog Awareness Week 2nd-8th May
Hedgehog Awareness Week runs from 2-8 May 2021 and is organised by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society to highlight the problems hogs are facing and how we can help them.
Hedgehog Awareness Week
A third of the urban hog population has been lost since 2000 and sadly, Hedgehogs are now on the Vulnerable to Extinction Red List for British Mammals so at Leeds Beckett, we’re joining in to do what we can to help. Read on to find out what we’re doing and how you can get involved.
What are we doing?
Our university has a Biodiversity Action Plan, part of which is dedicated to hedgehogs and helping them. The action plan involves keeping and preserving hedgerow species that provide important cover for hedgehogs to hide from predators. We are using hedgerows rather than fences to separate spaces to allow hedgehogs to roam through campus more freely. We now have 5 hedgehog houses located on our Headingley Campus and we are providing habitats such as bird and bat boxes too.
We've joined 'Hedgehog Friendly Campus'
Hedgehog Friendly Campus is a British Hedgehog Preservation Society national biodiversity programme for universities. The project offers free support to staff and students to make impactful changes for hedgehogs. After our first year of participating, Leeds Beckett achieved a bronze certification. We have become more hedgehog friendly by posting advice blogs, putting hedgehog safety pamphlets on campus and using the Sustainability Team social media platforms to spread hedgehog information and tips!
Hedgehog Friendly Campus allowed for our grounds maintenance team to attend a hedgehog training day where they learnt how to look out for hedgehogs and how to help if an injured hog is found. We also have hedgehog warning reminders on all equipment.
What can you do to help?
Here are 8 things you can do:
- Make your garden hog friendly by having a hedgehog highway. This means ensuring hogs can come and go from your garden either through gaps in fencing or hedgerows.
- If you have a pond, add a ramp so hogs can get out if they fall in.
- Remove any netting or litter.
- Put out food and water. Hogs like wet dog or cat food as long as it does not contain any fish. Hogs are lactose intolerant so please avoid milk.
- Create a wild area of your garden with logs, sticks, leaf piles and overgrown grass. This will create nesting materials for hogs and somewhere for insects to live ready for hogs to eat them.
- Build a hedgehog house. Below is a framework you could use, with more information and instructions here.
- Lookout for poorly hogs and call your local hedgehog sanctuary or the British Hedgehog Preservation Society on 01584 890801. It is unusual for hogs to be out during the daytime and can often indicate they are not well.
- Join our Leeds Beckett Hedgehog Friendly Campus Team! You can join at Hedgehog Friendly Campus Registration with the registration code 192.
I think it’s important to help Hedgehogs as our human way of life has impacted their habitat and now they are at risk of extinction. Something as simple as putting food and water out and creating wildlife corridors between gardens can really help make a difference for one of Britain’s most wonderful mammals!
One of our goals this Hedgehog Awareness Week is to expand our working group to aim for a Silver award for Hedgehog Friendly Campus which will involve campaigns, events, policy making and physical changes such as hedgehog signage and hedgehog highways. Hedgehog Friendly Campus is open to both staff and students and we plan to create a student working group in addition to our staff group who will complete regular on site litter picks, build ramps out of our ponds and conduct surveys on our existing hedgehog houses.
We would love more staff to help us campaign, organise events, fundraise and start a regular staff litter pick too. For more information on how to join you can reach Gemma Read from the Sustainability Team at: G.Read@leedsbeckett.ac.uk
We hope you will try out some of our hog-friendly tips and join us in trying to save hedgehogs. We’d love to see how you are helping hogs so please tag us @BeckettSustain (Twitter) @BeckettSustainability (Instagram).