Hedgehog friendly Oxford Brookes University recognised with national award

A hedgehog
A hedgehog (Pexels.com)

Hedgehogs are assured of a warm welcome at Oxford Brookes after the university received recognition from a national charity.

Hedgehog Friendly Campus is a scheme funded by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society to encourage universities, further education colleges and schools to make their sites as welcoming as possible to the much-loved mammals. 

Since 2022 the university has held bronze status for its work to protect the vulnerable animals which are thought to be fewer than one million in number as a result of habitat loss and building development.   

Now, to coincide with National Hedgehog Day (2 February), the charity has announced that Oxford Brookes has achieved a silver award for its ongoing work to provide a welcoming home for the spiky creatures. 

Lisa Hill, who helps run the Oxford Brookes Hedgehog Friendly Campus initiative, said the university’s Hedgehog Friendly Campus team had been working closely with its grounds and sustainability teams to enhance the hedgehog habitat.  

Lisa, a graphic designer at Oxford Brookes, said: “Hedgehogs are adorable creatures but are particularly vulnerable without the right environment to support them. We have a growing team of volunteers who are keen to do their bit to make the university’s open spaces friendly for hedgehogs as well as other wildlife. 

“We’ve been busy creating log and leaf piles for them to hibernate in, letting grassy areas and verges turn wild, and planting wildflower seeds. We’ve put in ramps in steep-sided ponds as escape routes in case hedgehogs fall in and organised hedgehog tunnel surveys. 

“Last April we had evidence at one of our halls of residence that a hedgehog roamed around there. Hedgehogs are nocturnal, shy and secretive animals, so it’s hard to know how many there might be, but all the steps we are putting in place are good for wildlife in general.”