UEA is officially hedgehog-friendly - but how?

The University of East Anglia is hoping to create a better environment for hedgehogs on its campus.

The University of East Anglia is hoping to create a better environment for hedgehogs on its campus. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY. - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

The University of East Anglia (UEA) is responsible for thousands of students, but as well as looking after them it has gone the whole hog for some of the campus' smaller residents.

The University of East Anglia is hoping to create a better environment for hedgehogs on its campus.

The University of East Anglia is hoping to create a better environment for hedgehogs on its campus. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY. - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

After hard work from a dedicated team of hedgehog-loving students and staff, the university has been recognised for its attempts to help the bristled beasts.

UEA has been given a bronze accreditation by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) in a new scheme to turn university campuses across the UK - which usually cover a large area - into spaces for the nocturnal animals to thrive.

It is estimated that the country's hedgehog population has halved since the year 2000, with fewer than a million estimated to be left because of things like roads, litter and the lack of a natural habitat, with access to food and water.

But UEA is among several institutions hoping to reverse this trend, and has been awarded a bronze accreditation by the BHPS after adapting grounds maintenance practices, hosting fundraising events and raising awareness.

The University of East Anglia is hoping to create a better environment for hedgehogs on its campus.

The University of East Anglia is hoping to create a better environment for hedgehogs on its campus. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY. - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

READ MORE: Prickly problems as animal sanctuary cares for 450 rescued hedgehogsThey have also trained their estates staff about what to do if they come across a sick or injured hog.


You may also want to watch:


UEA landscape manager Tom Everett said: "Universities have lots of accreditation scheme and league tables, but this is something a little bit different.

"Our 360-acre campus supports many habitats of ecological conversation and unique biodiversity, some being just outside teaching spaces. That's not something every university can boast, so we should be very proud of this asset and, in return, help to preserve and raise awareness so everyone can enjoy them."

Most Read

Proud they may be, but the university wants to do more to help hedgehogs and, with that in mind, it is working towards silver status.

UEA landscape manager Tom Everett. Picture: UEA.

UEA landscape manager Tom Everett. Picture: UEA. - Credit: Archant

READ MORE: Bid to help find out if exercise could help teens with depressionStaff and students hope to do this by introducing regular litter picks across the campus and creating hedgehog highways, which remove many of the barriers that the muricate mammals can come across while wandering through the night in search of food or a mate.

Student and president of the environmental sciences society Jess Spragg said: "I thought the scheme would be a great project for our student society to back, so I got in touch with the university and several others societies, and our numbers grew from there.

"Lots of us are doing degrees focused on the natural environment, so it's nice to get involved with protecting it here at UEA, and it's been lovely to see how many people are interested in the project.

"Everyone loves a hedgehog."

UEA student and president of the environmental sciences society Jess Spragg. Picture: UEA.

UEA student and president of the environmental sciences society Jess Spragg. Picture: UEA. - Credit: Archant

The University of East Anglia is hoping to create a better environment for hedgehogs on its campus.

The University of East Anglia is hoping to create a better environment for hedgehogs on its campus. Picture: Brittany Woodman. - Credit: Archant

Hedgehogs-themed cupcakes that were sold as part of a fundraiser. Picture: UEA.

Hedgehogs-themed cupcakes that were sold as part of a fundraiser. Picture: UEA. - Credit: Archant

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus