Celebrating Silver

Image of a hedgehog with scholar's hat and silver scroll

Penryn and Falmouth campuses have progressed from a bronze to a silver award from the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) Hedgehog Friendly Campus programme.

The Hedgehog Friendly Campus project is a UK-wide initiative which aims to turn university campuses into places where hedgehogs can thrive.

Oliver Milliner is Head of Sustainability for Falmouth Exeter Plus (FX Plus), the organisation that looks after services shared between Falmouth University and the University of Exeter at Falmouth and Penryn campuses.

He said: “We’re really pleased to have achieved this silver award and will be aiming for gold next year. Big thanks to all the teams who work together to keep our beautiful grounds full of biodiversity and, of course, hedgehog friendly. I’d also like to thank our Sustainability Intern Amber Brett who put this silver bid together.

“Staff and students have an opportunity to play an active role in what we do in the future so if any of you want to help us get to gold please contact me at sustainability@fxplus.ac.uk

To earn the silver award, the FX Plus Sustainability and Grounds teams worked together to complete a series of tasks that help to protect and support hedgehog life on campus. These included:

  • Involving the Students’ Union in hedgehog friendly activities.
  • Start working towards pesticide free grounds management.
  • Organising campus litter picks.
  • Increasing the number of hedgehog friendly plants and trees.
  • Creating log piles which are a good hibernation habitat for hedgehogs.

To achieve Gold, FX Plus will need to focus on actions that leave a long-lasting legacy for hedgehogs on campus, such as:

  • Meeting the pesticide reduction targets set at silver.
  • Installation of a hedgehog crossing sign.
  • Setting up hedgehog feeding stations.
  • Establishing a hedgehog society which can run surveys and workshops.
  • Running hedgehog surveys in the local community.

Some facts about hedgehogs:

Since 2020, hedgehogs are listed as ‘Vulnerable to Extinction’ on Britain’s Red List.

They have declined by 50% in rural areas & 30% in urban areas since the year 2000.

Hedgehogs are lactose intolerant and shouldn’t eat bread – meaty pet food and fresh water is best if you want to feed wild hedgehogs.

Baby hedgehogs are called hoglets.

Strimmers and mowers can harm hedgehogs.

Hedgehogs hibernate in winter, from around November to March/April.

If you are worried about a hedgehog, contact the British Hedgehog Preservation Society on 01584 890801.