Caitlin Green, BSc Animal Biology and Conservation Student and Student Hedgehog Ambassador, writes about the Hedgehog Friendly Campus campaign.
5 min read.
This year, Oxford Brookes are working towards the bronze accreditation for the Hedgehog Friendly Campus (HFC) initiative to create a campus allowing hedgehogs to thrive. This is funded by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, a non-profit charity dedicated to helping and protecting hedgehogs.
In order to achieve this accreditation, we have a list of tasks to complete by December 2021 which ranges from litter picks, fundraising activities and running social media channels to spread the word of what our team are getting up to. To read more about why this initiative is so important, follow this link.
To kick off the campaign at Brookes, we held a launch event on the 9 March where members of our working group, HFC spokesperson Jo Wilkinson and ecologist Hugh Warwick spoke out about the importance of the campaign and why it is crucial that as a university we do our best to create a suitable environment to encourage hedgehogs to thrive on our campus. Many students said that Hugh was particularly engaging, and his enthusiasm towards protecting and helping hedgehogs was inspiring.
Since the launch event, we have had a great amount of interest from the Brookes community with both staff and students keen to get involved. We hosted a hedgehog crafting competition, where everyone was encouraged to get crafty and share their prickly creations. A huge thank you to those who entered and congratulations to our winners Naomi and Yolanda! You can see their creations on our Instagram @obu_hedgehogcampus.
Although the COVID restrictions have made in person activities harder to arrange, we have recently received permission to host litter picks, which will tick off another one of our tasks needed for the bronze accreditation. Hedgehog Awareness Week ran during the first week of May and as litter has such a profound effect on all animals, including hedgehogs, we hosted COVID-safe litter picks from 4-7 May covering all areas around the Headington Campus. You can read more about the effects of littering here.
We are hoping that as we ease out of the lockdown restrictions, we will be able to host more events on campus and continue to strive towards achieving our accreditation. There is something for everyone on our HFC team, and if you are interested in getting involved, please get in touch via this google form. You can also follow our Instagram @obu_hedgehogcampus to keep up with what are up to as we spread awareness about our prickly friends, including what we can do in our own homes and gardens to play our part!
Written by Caitlin Green, BSc Animal Biology and Conservation Student and Student Hedgehog Ambassador.