Becoming a hedgehog friendly campus

The University of Leeds have joined the ‘Hedgehog Friendly Campus’ scheme.

The scheme is a national programme that is funded by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society. It raises awareness of hedgehogs in urban settings and offers practical steps, training and support for Universities to improve their habitats.  The programme has an annual submission and depending on how successful the programme has been delivered, Universities are given a Bronze, Silver or Gold award. We are hoping for our first award in February 2021.

Why are we doing it?

At the University of Leeds, we have a vision to become an exemplar of urban biodiversity.  This means that we acknowledge our campus is in the middle of a city and that the challenges we face are very different to rural locations.  It also means, however, that we have a huge opportunity to be innovative and creative by using our collective knowledge to find solutions to improve the biodiversity of the city.

Fortunately for hedgehogs in urban areas, their rate of decline is just 30%, compared to 50% in rural areas. This is still very worrying and that is why in 2020, hedgehogs were given ‘vulnerable’ status in the Red List for British Mammals alongside the hazel dormouse, Orkney vole, Serotine bat and the Barbastelle bat.

Although they have a slightly better urban status, due to the lack of natural predators and as people tend to drive faster on rural roads, making them harder to spot when driving, we believe that there is still much that can be done in our cities to improve their habitat.

How can I get involved in the programme?

If you would like to learn a bit more about hedgehogs, or even get involved in the monitoring work, send an email to biodiversity@leeds.ac.uk and one of the campus biodiversity ambassadors will respond to you.

In addition to helping with the work on campus, you can also log any hedgehog sightings via an interactive online map called the Big Hedgehog Map.

Who are the Campus Biodiversity Ambassadors?

Our annual submission is managed by our Biodiversity Ambassadors, who are a group of dedicated volunteers who oversee a number of campus monitoring programmes including pollinators, birds, bats and mammals.  Their work is a great example of how our living lab approach can be used to direct grounds management and decision-making at the University.

If you would like to find out more about the ambassadors and the work they do, or if you would like to volunteer some time to support them you can email them at: biodiversity@leeds.ac.uk

Keep up to date on the latest news

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

We use the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework to guide our activity. Our work on our Hedgehog Friendly Campus is linked to the following SDGs:

      • Goal 3: Good health and well-being
      • Goal 4: Quality education
      • Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities
      • Goal 15: Life on land
      • Goal 17: Partnerships for the goals

Find out more about our impact on the SDGs.