This York organisation has won a gold award for being hedgehog friendly
Hedgehogs are cute, if a bit prickly – but they are also in danger.
The creatures are considered vulnerable to extinction in Britain, due to habitat loss, development, roads and garden hazards. There are now thought to be fewer than one million hedgehogs left here.
But one York organisation is doing more than most to help hedgehogs.
York St John University has achieved gold in the Hedgehog Friendly Campus scheme, run by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society.
The York St John grounds and sustainability teams have led the work, supported by volunteers from across the University. This includes:
- carrying out hedgehog surveys at Lord Mayor’s Walk and at the York St John University Sports Park
- building hedgehog houses
- setting up feeding station and water bowls
- maintaining brush piles for shelter
- establishing wildflower meadows
- organising a student and staff litter pick
- cutting harmful pesticides.
Julia Dyman, energy and environmental projects officer, said: “We are all proud of the hard work that has led to this award for the University, and that we are playing a significant role in supporting the hedgehog population in the local area.
“Hedgehog numbers have been on the decline in Britain over the past few decades, but there is hope.
“Surprisingly, hedgehog populations in urban areas seem to be increasing, possibly due to the prevalence of gardens and green spaces, as well as conservation actions by humans.”
Groundskeeper Chey Salisbury said: “Supporting wildlife and keeping a green campus is really important to us so it’s great to see that the work is paying off for the hedgehogs.
“Tracking tunnel surveys have found evidence of them at both Lord Mayor’s Walk and our sports park. We’ll start these again in the spring when hedgehogs re-remerge from hibernation.
“Since they’re nocturnal, they’re not easy to spot unless you are out in the early morning. If you do see one out during the daytime, they may be ill or injured so please contact us at [email protected].”
There is an upcoming lecture, Helping Hedgehogs in the UK with Toni Bunnell, which will discuss their decline and what people can do to help. The public event will be held in De Grey Lecture Theatre, bookable via Eventbrite.