Durham hedgehogs have gone for gold!

Durham University Hedgehog Friendly Campaign has achieved a Gold Award for its work to protect our little, prickly friends!

This year Durham University has been awarded the Gold Award by the Hedgehog Preservation Society for its work to raise awareness and protect the hedgehogs of Durham and their habitats, as part of a scheme to help save hedgehogs nationwide.

Through outlets like the My Greenspace app and organised events, such as litter picks and talks on hedgehog conservation, the university has gained the recognition of Gold Award status by the Society. In an attempt to help this small creature make its big contribution to the North East’s biodiversity, the team at Durham have installed hedgehog houses and even little Hedgehog crossing signs, which are certainly a quaint sight to behold with an important message, to try and reduce the amount of harm hedgehogs come to on roads.

The significance of the work being done here should not be overlooked, as the fate of hedgehogs as a species seems to increasingly be threatened, as they have entered the category of “vulnerable to extinction”, on the British Red List for Mammals.

In the State of Britain’s Hedgehog’s 2022, (an annual report by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society), it was estimated that the population of hedgehogs in Britain has dropped anywhere between thirty three and seventy seven per cent over the last two decades, as people are encouraged to count and record the number of hedgehogs they come across on occasions like the Big Garden Birdwatch. The team at Durham University, are contributing to this effort by taking part in Hedgehog surveys, and encouraging hedgehogs into habitats like the Botanical Gardens on University property.

With the 1st to the 7th May, 2022, playing host to the Hedgehog Awareness Week last year, watch out for more awareness-raising events and even charity bake-offs as hosted previously for the cause! As the University aims for the Platinum Award next, the fundraising, volunteering and raising awareness is sure to continue and thrive, along with the Hedgehog population itself here.

So, next time you see a hedgehog crossing the road in Durham, remember to read the sign and “please drive carefully”, for the little guys!

If you would like to get involved you can find the campaign on Instagram at @hogfriendly.dur and on Facebook as the Durham University Hedgehog Friendly Campaign.

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