The Hedgehog Society was launched in March 2023 at the sustainability summit which is where anybody could do a presentation in relation to the United Nations Sustainability goals such as ‘life on land‘. We aim to do a range of activities to make the campus more hedgehog friendly and help them to thrive, as well as to help preserve hedgehog populations. We will do this by ’tracking hedgehog movements using night cameras, establish feeding stations and raise awareness of how dangerous litter and garden machinery like strimmers can be to our prickly friends’.
During Hedgehog Awareness Week, the society did a litter pick around the campus to help allow the hedgehogs to avoid getting injured by litter that people leave lying around in nature. We managed to pick up many items, big and small. According to the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, ‘the population of hedgehogs in gardens and other green spaces may be around 200,000 to 250,000.’ The number of hedgehogs in Britain is decreasing so anything society can do to help preserve their lives could really help.
We have used footprint tunnels to see how many hedgehogs are around campus and where there are more hedgehogs so we can direct our help into those specific areas. We also ran a crafts session to make hedgehogs out of pompoms, for the more creative members to raise money for the Hedgehog Friendly Schools Campaign. We have done a range of activities including a nature photography workshop, board game social, completed hazard audits of campus. This shows there is something for everyone who wants to join!
Not only do the activities focus on the students at the university but we also reach out to the community for certain activities such as running a stall at the community festival and a wildlife sunset survey part of Wild About Reading event. This allows younger children to learn about the importance of wildlife and taking care of nature.
This year the Hedgehog Society received the award for the ‘Best New Society’. We would love to see more people join our society and to help us in our quest. You don’t have to know a lot about hedgehogs, you could just want to learn and get involved.
By being a member of our society and taking part in these activities you improve your transferable skills (such as problem solving skills, by decision making and planning, communication skills through written correspondence or verbal by making people aware of the society and fundraising, as well as conservation skills by making hedgehog houses and doing a hazard audit). These can be used in multiple different roles throughout your life.
Ways to get in contact us:
Instagram Page: uor_hedgehogs
If you would like to join, please just send us an email: UORHedgehogSociety@reading.ac.uk