The Sheffield College staff launch Hedgehog Friendly Campus project

The Sheffield College staff have launched a project to create a hedgehog friendly campus.

Thursday, 6th May 2021, 10:15 am
The Sheffield College hedgehogs

The project launch at the college, from May 2 to 8, coincides with national Hedgehog Awareness Week.

Students and staff will be asked to help create litter-free campuses with joined-up habitats and opportunities for hedgehogs to eat, drink and nest.

The project is part of a national campaign being led by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society to turn campuses into places where hedgehogs can thrive.

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The Sheffield College, City Campus

After initially being launched at universities in 2018, the Hedgehog Friendly Campus project is now being expanded to include further education colleges.

Hedgehogs are officially classified as vulnerable to extinction in Britain, according to the British Hedgehog Preservation Society.

The British hedgehog population has declined by up to half since the year 2000.

Roads, litter, a lack of food and water and a reduction of their natural habitats are thought to be contributing factors.

Students and staff will have the opportunity to take part in such activities as litter picks, planting sessions, hedgehog surveys and fundraising events.

Several teaching and learning staff have signed up to be Hedgehog Champions.

Students who support the scheme will become Hedgehog Ambassadors and receive a certificate and CV reference from the Hedgehog Friendly Campus team for getting involved.

Carole Wilkinson, Learner Support Assistant in Inclusion at the College’s Peaks Campus, said: “I am delighted that The Sheffield College now has the opportunity to work towards becoming a Hedgehog Friendly Campus. It’s great for college staff and students to be involved in such an inspiring scheme that is helping to preserve wildlife.”

She added: “I have loved hedgehogs since I was a child and find it very sad that we don’t see them as much now. I’d like to see us working together to turn all of the College’s campuses into a hedgehog haven! Our Inclusion students have already been involved in some hedgehog surveying and awareness raising activities. The foundations have been laid and now is the time to build.”

Hannah Cambé, a Level 2 Animal Care Course Leader and Lecturer at Hillsborough Campus, who is also a Hedgehog Champion, said: “Hedgehogs are fascinating creatures and need our help. This is a fantastic opportunity for staff and students at The Sheffield College to do their part in ensuring this species survives and thrives.”

She explained: “I’ve been involved in the rescue, rehabilitation and release of hedgehogs for two years. Our first rescue hedgehog Todd arrived in 2019 and the teaching team and animal care students looked after him, having been taught how to care for wild hedgehogs in preparation for release back to the wild. Todd was released during the first national lockdown last year.

“Our next patient, Dewey, arrived in October 2020 and spent a month with us before being released, making way for Burnaby and Bertha. Burnaby was successfully released on April 1, 2021, and Bertha was released on April 22, 2021. The College’s City Campus is also home to a couple of hedgehog houses which were installed in 2018.”

The national project manager, Jo Wilkinson, said: “Hedgehogs have declined by up to 50% in the UK since just the year 2000. They are now vulnerable to extinction in Britain. Campuses, whether they’re urban or rural, can do big things to help hedgehogs. That’s why we’re so pleased to have The Sheffield College on board with the Hedgehog Friendly Campus campaign.”