October 2, 2023
For the past couple years, the Grounds and Sustainability Teams have been working hard to create a safe haven for native wildlife on campus. The results have been exciting to observe, and we are happy to report that we now have some regular hedgehogs that seem to have made themselves at home!
Both juvenile and adult hedgehogs have been spotted in and around Glasney Student Village, catching bugs under streetlamps and scurrying through hedges. FX Plus Biodiversity Project Officer, Abhishek Dixit, says that it is a positive indication that there may have been active nests on campus over the summer.
Sadly, elsewhere hedgehog populations have been declining due to shrinking wild spaces and hedgerows, the use of pesticides leading to a reduction of available food, deaths due to road traffic, climate change leading to disturbance in their natural life cycle and food availability and littering of their natural habitat. It is fantastic to see that hedgehogs are making a comeback and are returning to Penryn campus.
Hedgehogs play a critical role in ecosystems of the UK. Being avid insect eaters, they help control populations of pests and insects that would otherwise severely damage plant life of forests, gardens, and farms.
Through our biodiversity initiatives, we are working towards maintaining and enhancing a well-connected mosaic of habitats (woods, grassland, wildflower meadows, deadwood piles etc.) for our spiny friends to safely navigate around our Cornwall Campuses.
Thus far, our hard work has paid off with Penryn Campus receiving both Bronze (2020/21) and Silver (2021/22) level certifications with the Hedgehog Friendly Campus program, which is run by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society. Now, with confirmed sightings of hedgehogs, this year we are aiming to go for gold certification!
At FX Plus, we are committed to continue to identify more ways to nurture nature across our beautifully biodiverse campuses, which includes finding creative solutions to remove the potential risks faced by hedgehogs and other wildlife.