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Hedgehog Friendly Herts

Find out from Journalism student Chloé Williamson what the University are doing to make our little prickly friends safe on campus

Green picture with outline of a hedgehog and grass. White text - Hedgehog Friendly Herts

Like the humble Hedgehog, this campaign is small but mighty when it comes to making a difference in the local environment!

 

Our mission for the Hedgehog Friendly Herts project is to make Hatfield a safer place for Hedgehogs, and what better way then to start with our very own University campus. To achieve our Bronze Award we have been working alongside the British Hedgehog Preservation Society to conduct Hedgehog friendly surveys, design and build Hedgehog homes and even carry out litter picks.

 

Starting in November of 2021, Hedgehog Friendly Herts ran a launch week where students were invited to build Hedgehog homes made from recycled wood pallets, take part in litter picks on and off campus and learn Hedgehog first aid in the case of an emergency.

 

Unfortunately, Hedgehogs have been added to the Red List for British Mammals and are classed as vulnerable to extinction, meaning that they need our help now more than ever, as 330,000 of them are struck when crossing the road each year. The creatures are most at risk at night, when searching for food for themselves and their hoglets, so providing a safe place for them to live and eat is vital. Principal Technical Officer, Malcolm Chance, and Technical Resources Manager, Richard Kelly, came up with the perfect solution to help resolve this problem.

 

Richard and Malcolm, aiming to promote the repurposing of scrapped materials, got involved with the sustainability team who were striving to protect Hedgehogs, so the collaboration between the two to build these homes only made sense. These habitats are made from sustainable wood from leftover de-nailed pallets and were adapted not only to offer Hedgehogs a safe place to sleep and eat, but are even designed to keep vermin out.

 

As well as being at risk when crossing the road, Hedgehogs are prone to getting tangled and injured in litter, which can lead to starvation. As part of our HFC bronze award we conducted 4 litter picks last year in 2021, which has led us to now conduct monthly litter picks to protect Hedgehogs and all kinds of wildlife in our local area.

If you’re interested in getting involved in our next litter pick, contact sustainable@herts.ac.uk.

 

This year, we are working towards achieving our Silver Award in 2022 by completing 7 practical actions to protect and enhance the lives of these Hedgehogs and the habitats that we had built for them. To achieve this, we aim to conduct another two surveys in May and September to monitor whether the Hedgehogs are still using our campuses. We are also planning an audit of the Oval Ponds to ensure that there is a safe way for Hedgehogs to escape if they unfortunately fall in. We also plan to plant Hedgehog friendly plants and trees in the area.

 

Do You Want To Know How To Get Involved At Home?

If you’re interested in getting involved with protecting Hedgehogs at home, you can do this by building or buying your own Hedgehog home, putting safe foods such as kitten biscuits out for them to eat (you can buy these in garden centres), or you could even link your garden fences to allow them to enter and exit your garden safely.

Or if you are a student living on campus, you are more than welcome to get involved with the Hedgehog Friendly Herts campaign!

 

Do You Want To Learn Hedgehog First Aid?

If you’re interested in learning how to spot an injured or sick Hedgehog, you can find further professional information here.

 

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