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The University of Liverpool has recently joined the Hedgehog Friendly Campus scheme, which aims to raise awareness of the plight of hedgehogs while taking practical steps to improve habitats across university campuses. The Hedgehog Friendly Campus project is funded by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society and runs nationally.
The number of hedgehogs in rural areas has plummeted by as much as 50% and in urban gardens by 30% since the year 2000. There are perhaps just a million hedgehogs left, representing a 97% fall from the 30 million estimated to have roamed the UK in the 1950s.
This decline has been in part attributed to loss of hedgerows and familiar countryside habitats, leading hedgehogs to move into more urban environments where litter, busy roads and impermeable garden fencing and walls, significantly impact on their survival.
The University of Liverpool has become involved in the scheme as a result of a collaboration between Zoë Chapman, Business Manager at Ness Botanic Gardens and Clare Casey of the Sustainability team. Working with a project team of enthusiastic staff and students, they will now work towards accreditation by undertaking a number of actions and tasks aimed at improving the lot of these gentle and popular mammals.
The next working group meeting will take place at 2pm on Tuesday, 20 August in the Conference Room at Ness Botanic Gardens. If you would like to attend or are just interested in the scheme and want to be notified of future events or meetings, please contact Zoë Chapman at: ZChapman@liverpool.ac.uk.
The meeting will be followed by a Hedgehog Survey Workshop which will be held on the morning of 23, August 2019. The Workshop will be led by Jo Wilkinson, founder of the Hedgehog Friendly Campus Scheme, who will show us how to build and monitor tracking tunnels. The workshop is free for staff and students alike and can be booked by following this link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/hedgehog-surveying-workshop-tickets-68612831827
The University of Liverpool’s participation in the scheme will be officially launched as part of the University’s Welcome Week on the 18 September, with hedgehog related talks and activities taking place. The outcomes of these surveys will inform future activity, which will include fun events, fundraising, information sharing and awareness raising, with staff and students from across the University will taking part and supporting the scheme.
Zoë Chapman, Business Manager at Ness Botanic Gardens said “By launching the Hedgehog Friendly Campus Scheme at the University, we aim to make our spaces more welcoming to our prickly friends, providing a safe environment for them. By working together we can make the University of Liverpool a hedgehog friendly campus and help bring these charming mammals back from the brink”
To get involved, please contact the University of Liverpool’s Hedgehog Champion, Zoë Chapman by emailing ZChapman@liverpool.ac.uk
Hedgehog Friendly Campus is a national accreditation scheme, funded by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, which aims to make university campuses a safer place for wild hedgehogs. The scheme was founded at the University of Sheffield in September 2018, and launched as a national campaign in 2019, Projects are currently taking place in at Birmingham, Edinburgh, Cambridge, York, amongst other universities.
More information about the campaign is available here.
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