Student award aids efforts to safeguard hedgehogs

Published: 14 April 2021

University of Edinburgh students have won support from the University to further the creation of hedgehog-friendly spaces at the Easter Bush Campus in Midlothian Science Zone.

A £2,000 Student Experience Grant, funded by donations to the University, will be used to implement changes that benefit hedgehogs and wildlife.

The project, to take place over 12 months, will extend previous measures to develop the site as a place where hedgehogs can safely feed, shelter and breed, and improve the environment for students, staff, and visitors.

Students Sarah Batiste, Niamh Duthie and Niamh Kinch will seek to use their award to survey the site, to establish where improvements might be best made and to highlight deficiencies.

These are likely to include the addition of safe water sources, creating ramps in ponds and cattle grids, providing hedgehog highways, increasing wildflower coverage, and by making wooden hedgehog homes, compost heaps, and log piles.

Uoe Hedgehog 500

The team also hope to include signs to alert drivers of hedgehog populations, and to install a wildlife camera to measure the impact of their efforts over time.

They also hope that more students will participate in the scheme, owing to the possible benefits of spending time outdoors and in cultivating leadership, collaboration, and connections to communities and the environment.

The development follows the University of Edinburgh’s silver accreditation as a Hedgehog-Friendly Campus in February, and a 2020 summer survey that found hedgehog footprints in temporary tunnels around Easter Bush campus, as well as hedgehog sightings on camera.

We are extremely lucky to work and study in a Campus that is surrounded by green and forested landscapes and home to significant biodiversity. We would like to create spaces that foster and promote this by supporting dwindling hedgehog populations.

Sarah Batiste, Student of Veterinary Medicine

The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, within Midlothian Science Zone, is a one-of-a-kind centre of excellence in clinical activity, teaching and research. The purpose-built Campus, set against the backdrop of the beautiful Pentland Hills Regional Park, is home to more than eight hundred staff and almost fourteen hundred students, all of whom contribute to our exceptional community ethos.

Easter Bush Campus collectively represent the largest concentration of animal science related expertise in Europe, impacting local, regional, national and international communities in terms of economic growth, the provision of clinical services and the advancement of scientific knowledge.



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