QMU has received a Bronze Hedgehog Friendly Campus Award, recognising the University's efforts to create an environment which allows the endangered mammal to thrive.
Hedgehogs are thought to be one of the oldest mammals on earth! In their natural setting, these cute creatures are usually solitary animals. They are nocturnal, taking the night to hunt down and forage food while sleeping during the day. They tend to eat insects, worms and seeds, have a top speed of 12 miles, and usually live between three to six years.
The British Hedgehog Preservation Society's (BHPS) Hedgehog Friendly Campus project offers free support to staff and students to make changes which will help hedgehogs live and thrive in the campus grounds.
A dedicated team of QMU students and staff have been working towards gaining the award over the past year; this included receiving Hedgehog Ecology and Management training for practitioners, holding a raffle in benefit of the BHPS, organising campus litter picks and installing wildlife cameras on campus, along with hedgehog survey tunnels to monitor footprints and record animals in the area. A hedgehog house has also been established by the QMU SuDS pond.
QMU student, Amy Stewart, said:
"I’ve really enjoyed taking part in the hedgehog campaign and working with all the ambassadors to achieve the bronze award! I’m excited to continue our hard work and move on further in our journey to make our campus more wildlife friendly"
Sarah Whelan, QMU's Sustainable Transport Coordinator, added: "We're delighted to receive this award from the BHPS and have enjoyed working on the project. After being involved in sustainability projects at the University, covering transport and waste management, we were keen to find more ways to build on QMU's existing sustainability credentials."
QMU has already made inroads with its plans to develop an outdoor learning hub in the grounds of the university. The hub will be a place to connect students, the local community and the teaching profession in nature. The hedgehog friendly campus award aligns with QMU’s plans to create an environment on campus where people can learn about, and appreciate, the natural world.
Congratulations to all the students and staff involved in the project: Patrick Boxall, Mar Garcia Matey, Georgina Grundy, Agata Korecka, Freya Riley, Elena Sanchez Hernandez, Amy Stewart, Neil Thompson and Sarah Whelan.
The team plans to continue with the programme and work towards the silver award this year.