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Campaign Events General

How littering affects hedgehogs

Happy Hedgehog Awareness Week! 

This annual event aims to raise the profile of hedgehogs in the UK and spread awareness of the problems they face, as well as the ways we can help them. Hedgehogs have been listed as vulnerable on the Red List for Britain’s native mammals, which highlights species at risk of extinction in the next 20 years.

As hedgehogs and other animals move to the expanding urban areas, they face a number of threats and challenges – one of which is littering. In fact, RSPCA receives about 5,000 calls a year about animals affected by this. Hedgehogs are particularly at risk, as they are inquisitive by nature, which often causes them to get stuck or entangled in rubbish while looking for food. Here’s a list of household items which are the most common causes of harm to hedgehogs, along with some tips to prevent that.

  • Plastic bags – this includes shopping bags and bin bags. Hedgehogs can get inside them and suffocate, or try to eat them and choke. Tip: tie a knot in the top of the bag before disposal.
  • Plastic can holders – hedgehogs can get entangled in them or suffer wounds or choke. Tip: cut each loop open before recycling.
  • Balloons – hedgehogs can swallow them and choke. Tip: deflate and cut balloons before disposal. Or, better yet, opt for paper decorations and recycle them afterwards. 
  • Plastic containers and cans – hedgehogs can get stuck in these, or injured by sharp edges. Tip: clean and empty containers after use and pinch cans shut, or cut containers in half before disposal.
  • Elastic bands – hedgehogs can get entangled in these or swallow them and choke. Tip: reuse elastic bands when possible and cut them open before disposal.
  • Chewing gum – hedgehogs can get stuck in it or try eat it and choke. Tip: dispose of it in the bin (it’s best to use a dedicated recycling bin, if there’s one around you).
  • Glass – hedgehogs can get trapped in containers such as jars, or injured on broken glass. Tip: clean and recycle.
  • Netting – this includes nets used for plants, fruit and vegetables, sports nets, etc. Hedgehogs can get entangled in these. Tip: try to avoid buying produce sold in nets, or cut them open before disposal. For tree netting, here you can find a wildlife friendly netting guide.

The best, and easiest, way to help hedgehogs on a daily basis is to make sure that we dispose of our rubbish responsibly by putting it in the correct bin, and reusing items whenever we can. You can also make a donation to the British Hedgehog Preservation Society here to support their work.

Join us this afternoon for the Hedgehog Awareness Litter Pick to help keep our local area clear of litter and safe for spiky visitors. Sign up here.

Sources: RSPCA, British Hedgehog Preservation Society

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Campaign Fundraising General

Introducing HFC

Welcome to the University of Salford’s Hedgehog Friendly Campus very first blog post! I’ll use this opportunity to introduce both Hedgehog Friendly Campus and explain why staff and students at the University of Salford decided to take part.

The hedgehog is one of Britain’s best known and most loved mammals yet they are in desperate need of our help. Numbers have fallen dramatically in the last 20 years with the population shrinking by over a third since the millennium. Hedgehog Friendly Campus is a fantastic initiative that aims to help reverse this trend by partnering with university staff , students and the local community to make campuses places where hedgehogs can thrive.

The University of Salford’s HFC Team is a relatively new group, formed in June 2020 we are aiming for Bronze accreditation as a Hedgehog Friendly Campus. Despite the challenges posed by Covid-19 staff and students have pulled together to form a working group and complete a number of actions that all add up to help raise awareness of the problems faced by our prickly friends and ensure that any spikey visitors to campus can do so safely and may be encourages to become permanent residents.

The University’s first hedgehog house made by the staff in the UoS Maker Space.

Some of the steps completed have included building what is hoped to be the first of several hedgehog houses, launching our social media channels, making sure all UoS strimmer’s have hedgehog friendly stickers attached and running a Bonfire awareness campaign.

One of the images from our #liftlooklike Bonfire Awareness Campaign

We hope to continue completing actions over the next three months in order to achieve Bronze accreditation in early 2021. To find out more or join the team e-mail uoshedgehogfriendly@salford.ac.uk or follow us on Social Media.

Until next time,

The UoS Hedgehog Friendly Campus Team x