Hedgehog Friendly Campus

A hedgehog in the undergrowth

Hedgehog Friendly Campus

Working towards Gold Award

Videos

A cartoon drawing of a hedgehog wearing a mortar board.

What is a Hedgehog Friendly Campus?

Why are Hedgehogs in trouble and how can we take care on them on University campuses.

A street sign reading hedgehog close

Hedgehog Friendly Gardens

If you have a garden watch this video to find out how you can help hedgehogs from the comfort of your own home!

What Kent is doing on campus

Chris Wright from the Landscape and Grounds Team talks through the actions that have been taken on campus to support hedgehogs.

In July 2019 The University launched it's participation in the Hedgehog Friendly Campus project- created at the University of Sheffield to use the unique spaces that university campuses are, to raise awareness of the plight of UK hedgehogs and take action to safeguard their future.

The hedgehog is in trouble, with populations plummeting 50% since 2000. Increasing habitat loss means hedgehogs are moving out of their rural homes and into built areas. But here they face a whole host of challenges, including road traffic, litter, poisoning and lack of access to food and water. We are lucky enough to have hedgehogs on our campus however, the roads that cut through campus are causing particular issues with hedgehogs being hit by vehicles at an alarming rate.

The University of Kent has set up a steering group made up of the Landscape and Grounds Supervisor, Staff Sustainability Champions, Student Hedgehog Champions, the President of the Conservation Society and the University's Sustainability Coordinator. The project also has a mascot - Kent Bunny - who is doing his bit to raise awareness about his fellow woodland friends.

We have been carrying out staff and student litter picks in the wilder areas of our campuses and these will continue throughout the year; we have created a toolbox training session for the Landscape and Grounds Management team so that they know what to do if they find an injured hedgehog, how to check for them before strimming and what are the biggest risks to hedgehogs on campus.

We have carried out surveys on campus to find out where our hedgehogs are, as well as how to make our ponds and fences safer for hedgehogs.

Our efforts so far have earned us a Silver award from the Hedgehog Friendly Campus Project and we hope to continue this work and achieve a Gold in 2022. 

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What to do if you find a hedgehog that you are concerned about:

If you have found a hedgehog you are concerned about at home please use gardening gloves to collect it up, bring it indoors and put it in a high sided cardboard box with an old towel or fleece in the bottom for the hedgehog to hide under. Fill a hot water bottle so that when it is wrapped in a towel there is a nice gentle heat coming through and put that in the bottom of the box with the hedgehog, ensuring it has room to get off the bottle should it get too warm.  Make sure the bottle is always kept warm (if allowed to go cold it will chill the hedgehog and do more harm than good). If the hedgehog is bleeding please do not add a hot water bottle as this will make it bleed more quickly.  Put the box somewhere quiet. Offer meaty cat or dog food and fresh water then call  the British Hedgehog Preservation Society as soon as possible on 01584 890 801 for further advice and the numbers of local contacts. Note that out of office hours there is an answerphone, if you have a hedgehog, please press option 1 and listen to the emergency numbers, these volunteers are not representatives of BHPS, but they will be able to give you advice and numbers of local contacts.  Please note as volunteers they are sometimes busy (and need to sleep) so if there is no immediate answer, please leave a message or try later.  In the meantime, keep the hedgehog safe indoors as described above, or if in obvious pain and in need of urgent help take it to a local vet as soon as possible.

If you find an injured hedgehog on campus please call the Estates customer service desk on 01227 816666.

Hedgehog Surveys

Our spring surveys turned up lots of footprints! We will be repeating these surveys in April 2022 as part of our annual surveys. If you want to learn how to carry out hedgehog surveys please get in touch to be added to our surveyors list.

Hedgehog Friendly Campus Steering Group

If you want to join our group and help support Hedgehogs on campus then please get in touch with the sustainability team who will add you to the mailing list and invite you to our next meeting. Send us an email or DM on our social media.

Current campaign: Hibernation Time

Hedgehogs usually hibernate from October/November through to March/April. Research has shown that each individual is likely to move nesting sites at least once during this period and so can sometimes be seen out and about. During mild winters hedgehogs can remain active well into November and December.

Any disturbance during this period can be extremely dangerous, as hedgehogs use up their precious energy reserves in order to become active again. 

On campus we will be taking care not to disturb wilder areas of campus and log piles over winter.

Info from Hedgehog Street