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Hedgehog Friendly Campus

One of the UK’s favourite native mammals needs our help. Hedgehog numbers have declined by 50% since the year 2000 and are now officially listed as 'Vulnerable to Extinction in Britain, 

Hedgehogs face challenges including lack of accessible food and water, litter, road traffic and accidental poisoning.  Despite these, it has been proven that urban and suburban environments can provide stable habitats for hedgehogs.  This is where Hedgehog Friendly Campuses can help! A scheme which encourages universities to raise awareness of hedgehogs and to protect them on campus.

Northumbria University has achieved Gold Hedgehog Friendly Campus status – one of only 20 universities in the UK.  Works to support the gold award included:

  • Planting on campus to support hedgehogs,
  • Completing surveys to monitor hedgehogs on campus and in local communities,
  • Running campaigns to raise awareness of hedgehogs.

Past events have included a bake-off competition that raised over £100 for the British Hedgehog Preservation Society and a student-staff litter pick in and around our city centre campus that collected 11 kilograms of rubbish in 45 minutes.

Some top tips on how students can further support hedgehogs can be found in this blog post by one of our students, Lovisa.

If you want to support hedgehogs:

  • If you see a hedgehog (dead or alive), please log it on the Big Hedgehog Map. This citizen science project is helping to inform hedgehog conservation efforts across the country.
  • Adding a small DVD sized hole in your garden fence creates the hedgehog highway to new food, water and habitat. This also helps you – hedgehogs love to munch their way through many garden pests.
  • Leave some leaves and twigs under a bush in your garden to create space for hedgehogs to forage or nest. If you want to go a step further, then you could provide a bowl of water or some meaty cat food.
  • If you see a hedgehog in trouble, or one out and about in the daytime that is lethargic or wobbly as it moves, contact the British Hedgehog Preservation Society on 01584 890 801 and/or take it to your local vets – find out more.

Northumbria academic Dr Andy Suggit has made a short film exploring winter in the life of a hedgehog.


If you are a student or staff member of Northumbria University, or a resident of Newcastle, and support our Hedgehog Friendly Campus activity, please do get in touch. You can follow more of the campaign’s developments via our social media channels (Twitter and Instagram). 



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