Charlotte Barnett, one of our third year students studying for a BSc (Hons) in Veterinary Nursing, has written a guest blog post all about her campaign for a hedgehog friendly campus! Read more here…
Hedgehogs are one of Britain’s most loved animals, and right now, they need our help more than ever. In the UK, half of the countryside population and a third of the urban population has been lost since the Millennium. The reasons for this decline include loss of habitat, road traffic accidents, use of pesticides and slug pellets and reduced food sources. Making simple changes to our surroundings and being mindful of these wonderful creatures can aid in their survival. University and college campuses can provide the perfect open space for the development of a hedgehog-friendly environment.
I have had a passion for British wildlife for as long as I can remember, and my ambition after becoming a registered veterinary nurse is to nurse wildlife. Bearing in mind that wildlife nursing opportunities are rare, I still aim to help our native creatures in any way that I can. Whilst scrolling through social media, I came across a wonderful opportunity to become a student hedgehog ambassador. This has allowed me to lead a campaign to make my university a hedgehog-friendly campus. The hedgehog friendly campus project is funded by the (BHPS) British Hedgehog Preservation Society, a registered charity that is dedicated to helping and protecting hedgehogs that are native to the UK. Campuses that meet the required criteria are accredited as either bronze, silver or gold level hedgehog-friendly campuses. Bronze accreditation requires the submission of 10 pieces of evidence to show that the university has made efforts to make the campus safe and suitable for hedgehogs. Middlesex University has a beautiful, large campus and I felt that this would be a perfect opportunity to make positive changes for hedgehogs.
Over the past few months, I have been working closely with staff members at Middlesex University to implement changes towards the achievement of bronze accreditation. I was able to obtain funding for the installation of hedgehog houses on campus which provide a warm and safe place for hedgehogs to hibernate and rest. Members of the Middlesex grounds team have been made aware of what to do in the event of finding a hedgehog in need of help, and are reminded to check for them before working, with the placement of stickers on equipment such as strimmers.
I carried out a fundraising event which raised £85 for the BHPS. My idea was to carry out a sponsored climb, however due to the pandemic, climbing a mountain would not be possible. So instead, I found out the stair flight equivalent of climbing Ben Nevis and completed this over 3 consecutive days. I also set up a ‘virtual donation pot’ which allows for continuous donations, as providing a physical donation pot on campus has not been possible due to COVID-19 restrictions.
All of this hard work paid off, and I received confirmation in late February that Middlesex University is now a bronze-accredited hedgehog friendly campus. The university would like to continue helping hedgehog welfare and are now looking to aim for silver accreditation.
Any student that would like further information or to help their college or university campus become hedgehog-friendly should contact the hedgehog friendly team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Are you a student at CAW with a cause you want to write about? Perhaps there is a charity, campaign or personal project you really care about and want to spread the word? If so, we’d love the hear from you! Contact us at email@example.com for more details about contributing a guest blog post.