Keele receives Silver Hedgehog Friendly Campus accreditation

Keele University has successfully received silver accreditation as a Hedgehog Friendly Campus, a campaign funded by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society.

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, Keele staff, students and residents continued their work to make the Keele campus a haven for hedgehogs. Throughout the year, a range of activities have been held to promote the conservation of hedgehogs at Keele including online talks, a virtual ‘Crafternoon’ run by KeeleSU, pre-lockdown litter picks on campus, and raising awareness of student research on small mammals on campus. More than 25 people from across the University have also registered as Hedgehog Champions with Hedgehog Street - a UK-based conservation initiative.

As part of this continued work, the University’s Grounds and Estates teams have included the conservation of hedgehogs and other wildlife in their policies, demonstrating Keele’s commitment to embedding sustainability in everything we do and allowing for the protection of hedgehogs for years to come.

According to the People’s Trust for Endangered Species and the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, rural hedgehogs in the UK have halved in number since 2000, while urban hedgehogs have declined by a third. More widely, UK hedgehog numbers have dropped from an estimated 30m in the 1950s to under a million today.

During Keele’s Green Festival, an event will be held on 17th March at 1pm, which will introduce Keele’s Hedgehog Friendly Campus campaign and provide more information about how you can get involved. The introduction will be followed with an Institute for Sustainable Futures seminar by PhD student, Kate Davies, who will discuss her work with the hedgehog population and talk about citizen science and how people can share their sightings of hedgehogs. 

Two hedgehogs spotted by trail cameras on the Keele campus

Professor Mark Ormerod, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost and institutional lead for sustainability said: "Sustainability is a major priority for Keele University - we seek to embed sustainability in all aspects of our operations, campus and community.

“Life on Land is one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and it's great that we're working with the British Hedgehog Preservation Society to make our beautiful campus Hedgehog Friendly and are now one of a small number of universities to have secured Silver Award status for our campus. I continue to be really impressed with the working group, who have dedicated a great deal of time and effort to date and are working hard towards Keele achieving Gold accreditation."

Alana Wheat, Master's student and Hedgehog Champion said: “Hedgehog Friendly Campus is an amazing campaign, and it is empowering to think that for the 100 universities involved, their campuses and sites will become havens for hedgehogs! If you would be interested in helping the campaign – please share the message and get involved!”

Huw Evans, Environmental Manager, added: “Our involvement in the campaign has enabled us to work with student volunteers and academic staff to consider what we can do to improve the campus environment and grounds practices to benefit the hedgehog population and wildlife in general.”

Sarah Briggs, Sustainability Project Officer, said: “It’s fantastic to see students leading the campaign again this year. Student-led projects and initiatives like this enable students and staff from the University and SU to work together on issues that our students are passionate about. HFC has built a community at Keele around protecting and promoting hedgehogs that can benefit other species, bringing together staff, students and residents living on campus, and raising awareness of action we can all take for nature.”

Visit Keele’s Sustainability pages for more information about the Hedgehog Friendly Campus initiative.