Hedgehog Friendly Campus
Hedgehog numbers have declined by up to 50% over the last 20 years. The British Hedgehog has been officially declared vulnerable to extinction and features on the IUCN Red listed species. In 2020, NTU made a commitment to make further improvements across the estate to help the UK’s Hedgehog population as part of the Hedgehog Friendly Campus initiative. In February 2021, NTU achieved a Bronze Award from the ‘Hedgehog Friendly Campus’ and in January 2022 we achieved the Silver Award for Brackenhurst, Clifton, and City Campus.
From April 2022 NTU will be working towards Gold accreditation. If you’d like to be involved in this change-making project please email the team.
Our work towards achieving a Hedgehog Friendly Campus has included:
- Hedgehog surveys completed twice during the year at all three campuses with a small population increase found at Brackenhurst.
- Increased areas of campus green space left to ‘rewild’ helping to support hedgehogs and other local biodiversity that support hedgehogs survival.
- Pond audits across the estate completed and ponds with steep sides and no means of escape for wildlife now have steppingstones added.
- Introducing log piles to our City campus for the first time and adding to those at Clifton and Brackenhurst
- NTU’s very own Lizzie Carr celebrated our HFC success!
Check Your Bonfires
This Bonfire Night #rememberhedgehogs
The Sustainability Team are asking staff, students and the public to always check their bonfires before lighting. During this time of year, Hedgehogs will be on the hunt for somewhere to hibernate and a large pile of wood is exactly what they are looking for.
The following steps can be taken to ensure that your bonfire is wildlife friendly:
1. Build your bonfire only hours before it is due to be lit.
2. If you have built your bonfire in advance, the best practice would be to dismantle the bonfire and move it to a different spot before lighting it.
3. Check your bonfire for wildlife with a broomstick, by using the pole to lift the edges of the bonfire. Make sure to check the centre of the pile and listen out for any movement or noise.
4. Lighting your bonfire from one side only will provide an escape route if any wildlife has been missed.
Checked a bonfire? Let us know! Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the details to support NTU in achieving Hedgehog Friendly Campus Gold Award 2022!
PhD Student, Lauren Moore, shares tips on how to protect Hedgehogs during Bonfire season. Log piles are the perfect nesting spot for hedgehogs as they provide protection and warmth as the temperatures drop into winter. Hedgehogs in the UK are already in serious decline and mortality from bonfires places preventable pressure on dwindling populations.
Hedgehog Garden Surveys
Following Hedgehog Awareness Week 2020, staff and students were invited to take part in their very own hedgehog garden survey. After completing a virtual training webinar demonstrating how to build your own hedgehog survey tunnel, a group of staff and student volunteers surveyed their gardens for five consecutive nights across various locations in the UK including Nottinghamshire, Manchester, Leicestershire, East Sussex, Cambridgeshire and Conwy and Wales.
The results were fascinating. Night-time garden visitors included squirrels, rabbits, mice, rats, cats and hedgehogs. One student who took part managed to trace the hedgehog prints back to a hedgehog house she’d put in her garden, and she was delighted to see it has become the home of a nesting female hedgehog. Since discovering that the hedgehog house is occupied, cameras have been located nearby, capturing amazing footage of a very busy hedgehog.
In addition, images taken from night-time cameras at Brackenhurst campus recorded Foxes, Badgers and Hedgehogs.