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Hedgehog Awareness Week

7 May 2024

6 mins

The 5th to the 11th of May 2024 marks Hedgehog Awareness Week, which is a campaign organised every year by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society. This year, the charity has selected the theme: ‘Welcome Wildlife!’ which is about creating safe green spaces, gardens & environments for hedgehogs and other animals to live.

It turns out that hedgehogs are a great ‘indicator species’. This means that they don’t require much to survive, so if they are struggling, it indicates that the environment is in some way insufficient. This can be a cause of concern for the survival of other species, including humans, so we really should be paying attention… (North East Post – Hedgehog Awareness Week; Cornwall Wildlife Trust, 2024).

Source: National Geographic – Hedgehog

What can you do?

Hedgehogs are under threat, after undergoing significant population declines in recent decades. We need to reverse this by removing threats and installing practical conservation measures (The British Hedgehog Preservation Society, 2024). To gain an improved understanding of why hedgehogs are struggling, the British Hedgehog Preservation Society have partnered up with some other organisations to launch a new National Hedgehog Monitoring Programme (NHMP). You can read more about this programme and how you can get involved following this link National Hedgehog Monitoring Programme.   

In addition to this, there are a few small things we can all do to ensure our gardens and local area are safe for hedgehogs. A few examples would be:

  • Avoid using pesticides and poisons which could harm hedgehogs or disrupt their food chain.
  • Cover up drains so that hedgehogs don’t fall into them.
  • Do not litter; encourage others to do the same, as litter can cause harm to wildlife.
  • Make sure you put away any sports nets from your garden and ensure that any other netting is high up enough that hedgehogs can pass under it so do not get stuck.
  • Check for hedgehogs before you mow or strim the lawn, and before you light a bonfire as they sometimes make nests in log piles!
  • You could also add some hedgehog-friendly features to your garden such as ‘hedgehog highways’, feeding stations, log piles, pools or ponds, and hedgehog homes.

To find out more about the BHPS and what you can do, visit North East Post – Hedgehog Awareness Week.

Source: The College of Animal Welfare

What’s been happening in the world of hedgehogs?

Its important to highlight the good news, so I wanted to bring your attention to this inspiring story of a student who has been campaigning for hedgehogs.

Lyndon Howson, a student studying for a Zoology degree at the University of Chester, has won the ‘Mammal Champions Award’. This is in recognition of his efforts in coordinating the Hedgehog Friendly Campus campaign at his university. His passion for wildlife, ‘outstanding dedication’ and leadership when volunteering for this role have been impressive, and as such he has been given this national award. Not only this, but he has also now been selected by Universities UK to feature in the ‘100 Faces’ campaign which aims to celebrate the positive impact of ‘first-in-the-family’ students and graduates in the UK. 

The initiative led by Lyndon, alongside another student project coordinator, has experienced an impressive transformation over the past 18 months, with the team growing from seven to 170 individuals. With the support of volunteers and staff, Lyndon has organised many activities such as:

  • Camera trapping surveys.
  • Hedgehog tunnels.
  • Habitat management.
  • Meadow planting.

All these efforts have been part of the Hedgehog Friendly Campus scheme adopted at the University of Chester, which is a national accreditation programme funded in part by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) and delivered by Students Organising for Sustainability UK (SOS-UK). Loughborough University has also been involved in this programme – more on this later.

Not only have the volunteer numbers increased due to Lyndon’s efforts, but the hedgehog numbers have increased! There are now eight on campus (when before there were none) and three hoglets were born last year. Amazing!

To read more about Lyndon’s story and the Hedgehog Friendly Campus scheme, please visit this webpage: FE News | National award for student wildlife champion 

What are we doing?

Here at Loughborough University, we strive to protect hedgehogs by:

  • Taking practical measures.
  • Educating others & raising awareness.

Last academic year (2022-23), we gained the bronze level of the Hedgehog Friendly Campus award. This involved a group of staff and students working together to organise initiatives such as:

  • Promoting the campaign.
  • Undertaking workshops.
  • Holding fundraisers.
  • Distributing flyers.
  • Brainstorming creative ideas to raise awareness of hedgehog protection.

Another key activity which helped the team achieve their goals was running staff and student litter picks, with over 23kg collected within only 30 minutes! We have undertaken some litter picks this academic year too, to protect the hedgehogs and other wildlife, and ensure campus remains clean and tidy!

Another success story is that of a hedgehog rescue on campus…In September 2022, Kaz Setchell, the Gardens Manager, and Rachel Senior, former Assistant Gardens Manager, found an underweight and unwell hedgehog on campus. After taking the hedgehog Kazzie to Barrow Hedgehog Rescue, she was able to be passed onto the vet so medicine could be administered. The problem had been Kazzie was far too small to hibernate that winter, so she was given a home with Rachel Senior until she was healthy again, which took around a month (after receiving lots of food donations!). Kazzie was re-introduced to the wild that spring and released into a garden near where she was found.

Source: Wildlife | Estates and Facilities Management | Loughborough University (
Source: Loughborough achieves Bronze in this year’s Hedgehog Friendly Campus initiative | News and events | Loughborough University (

To read more, visit our webpages:

Wildlife | Estates and Facilities Management | Loughborough University (

Loughborough achieves Bronze in this year’s Hedgehog Friendly Campus initiative | News and events | Loughborough University (

This article is in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 15: Life on Land. To read more click here.

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