Keele achieves gold standard for hedgehog-friendly campus
Keele has been judged among the best institutions in the country for protecting and aiding wildlife after receiving a gold accreditation as a Hedgehog Friendly Campus.
The campaign, funded by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, judges universities, schools and colleges on their efforts to provide habitats for hedgehogs and prevent their numbers from further decreasing.
Hedgehogs have declined by up to 50% in the UK since the year 2000 and they are now vulnerable to extinction in Britain, due to things like habitat loss, development, roads and garden hazards.
The campaign aims to change that by encouraging activities on campuses to help bring hedgehogs back from the brink, such as building hedgehog houses, litter picking, and carrying out surveys of hedgehog numbers on site.
Keele first achieved bronze accreditation as part of the scheme in 2019, and since then has worked its way up to achieve gold in the rankings thanks to the work of volunteers, the Keele Wildlife Society, and staff.
Activities run by students and staff in support of the campaign have included litter picks, providing hedgehog houses on campus, and raising awareness about hedgehogs through sharing information from the British Hedgehog Preservation Society and Newcastle Hedgehog Rescue. Keele’s group of Hedgehog Champions has also grown throughout the past year.
Alana Wheat, Sustainability Project Officer and Hedgehog Champion at Keele said: “After volunteering for this campaign as a student I am pleased that it has carried on to now achieve the Gold Hedgehog Friendly Campus accreditation, as well as forming strong links with Newcastle Hedgehog Rescue. With the support from the Keele Wildlife Society and many staff, students and residents, I hope that Keele’s 600+ acres will continue to be haven for hedgehogs. Thank you to the British Hedgehog Preservation Society for funding the programme.”