Silver accreditation for Winchester's Hedgehog Friendly Campus

30 Apr 2021

The University of Winchester's Hedgehog Friendly Campus team has been awarded Silver accreditation for completing the second stage of a national campaign to make university campuses more hedgehog-friendly. In this blog post, Carol Cook, an alumna of the MSc Animal Welfare, Science, Ethics and Law degree programme (2018-2020) outlines the various initiatives undertaken to reach this milestone.

The Silver accreditation follows the team's successful Bronze accreditation in the 2019/20 academic year. The campaign is funded by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society and is one of a variety of initiatives designed to help Britain's best loved mammal thrive. 2020 saw hedgehogs move onto the Red List for British Mammals meaning the species are vulnerable, with populations continuing to decline. However, campaigns like this are mobilising Hedgehog Champions across the UK to help the hedgehogs.

The Hedgehog Friendly Campus campaign began in 2019. There are over ninety other UK universities involved. Pre-COVID-19, the University of Winchester staff and students had been actively engaged in completing various initiatives in their bid to secure Silver accreditation. However, from mid-March 2020, the campaign necessarily moved online to comply with COVID-19 restrictions. The team utilised social media to continue to raise awareness of the plight of hedgehogs and the University's Grounds and Gardening team managed the campus hedgehog initiatives adhering to COVID-19 rules.

The team completed the following Silver campaign initiatives:

Hedgehog surveys on campus with results logged on The Big Hedgehog Map

Group of people standing outside on grass chatting

Road sign for hedgehog crossing

Photos: University and NHS Grounds teams meet pre-Covid to discuss how to make both sites hedgehog friendly and the recently installed hedgehog road signs on Burma Road.

 Group of students standing around table with hedgehog homes on it

Photo: Students build hedgehog homes for Give it a Go Week in February 2020

And all this hard work is paying off, as photos of hedgehogs visiting several campus locations have been received by the teams social media Twitter account @hogfriendlyUoW

hedgehog on grass

Photo: May 2020: Hedgehog spotted on campus.

Special event

Please join the University's Environment Team for their online Hedgehog Tracking Workshop on Friday May 7 at 10-11am, followed by placement of hedgehog survey equipment on campus. The event will be following guidelines to keep everyone safe in regards to COVID-19.

This event is aimed at all staff and students of the University of Winchester and householders and businesses in the surrounding areas. You must register at this link prior to the event to attend. 

The team is now working on their bid for Gold accreditation. For further information on how you can get involved, please check out our volunteering opportunities via the University's Career Connect, here or contact us on Twitter @hogfriendlyUoW.

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