University of York awarded ‘gold status’ for being a hedgehog friendly campus

It was awarded the Gold Hedgehog Friendly award by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society

The University of York has been awarded “gold status” by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society for being a hedgehog-friendly campus.

It is one of 13 universities across the UK to achieve Gold status in 2022.

The award is the culmination of three years’ work which has seen staff and students create a hedgehog-friendly habitat, install feeding stations and assist with surveying and rescuing injured animals.

The British Hedgehog Preservation Society says this conservation is so important because they estimate that since the turn of the century, the hedgehog population has declined by almost 50 per cent. The Mammal Society has also classified hedgehogs in the UK as vulnerable to extinction.

Some of the efforts done by the university to achieve this award include: installing feeding stations around campus, litter pickups, the installation of well-maintained hedgehog shelters on campus, and assistance in surveying and rescuing injured hedgehogs.

Gordon Eastham, the Grounds and Ecology manager at York, has said the university is doing everything they can “to make the campus not just hedgehog friendly, but also as biodiverse as we possibly can by creating and protecting suitable habitat”

In another comment, Dr Nia Bryant, who initiated the project on campus said: “This has been a very rewarding project, working with different groups across the university has shown how we can work together to make a big difference to the plight of this much-loved species – I’ve had great feedback from the wider community about our work too.”

Jo Wilkinson, from the British Hedgehog Preservation Society said: “The university has shown huge dedication and passion for helping hedgehogs and other wildlife through the Hedgehog Friendly Campus programme, which is funded and accredited by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society.

She continued: “We want to take this moment to thank all of the volunteers at the University who have taken part over the last three years. With hedgehogs now vulnerable to extinction in Britain, your help is more important than ever.”

If you would like to get involved in this initiative, you can volunteer for Hedgehogs on Campus by visiting the YUSU website or their Instagram @uoy_hedgehogs.

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