Forth Valley Student Association and Forth Valley College have been recognised for their efforts in promoting the welfare of one of the UK’s most loved mammals.
The British Hedgehog Preservation Society have recognised the FVSA and the College with a Bronze Award to acknowledge all the efforts they have put in since joining the Hedgehog Friendly Campus Campaign in October – which has included targeted litter picks and a fundraising Christmas Jumper Day.
Elena Semple, FVSA Student Engagement Officer, said: “Working towards the Bronze Award from the Hedgehog Friendly Campus Campaign has been such an exciting endeavour and it has been an absolute privilege working with various College departments in the process.
“What we thought might have been a small project has gathered so much interest from staff and students – further supporting that Forth Valley cares about the environment! Now that we have achieved the Bronze award, we will continue to be ambitious and immediately start on the work for the Silver Award.
“FVSA will be launching their Sustainability Pledge in the upcoming weeks and we hope to embed this campaign into our work to allow students to take part in a fascinating campaign.”
Hedgehog’s got the full support of Forth Valley College after the Forth Valley Student Association and the College joined the Hedgehog Friendly Campus Campaign back in October.
Funded by The British Hedgehog Preservation Society, the aim of the link up is to improve awareness of hedgehogs for College staff and students and to increase hedgehog numbers on and around all three Forth Valley campuses.
The hedgehog population in the UK has declined by up to 50% in the last 20 years according to a study that was carried out by the Mammal Society in 2020, who revealed that hedgehogs were classed as 'vulnerable to extinction' as their habitats continue to decline.
Dr Ken Thomson, who graduated from the University of Nottingham with a BSc (Hons) in Zoology, followed by a PhD at the University of Edinburgh, has a great interest in the natural environment and welcomed the college becoming Hedgehog Friendly.
He said: “It’s great to hear the FVSA’s and the College’s Hedgehog Campaign has been recognised like this. I am delighted the FVSA and the College are supporting the hedgehog project. In many ways this is a miniature biodiversity project in its own right, supporting habitat restoration, encouraging food sources and supporting wildlife corridors. Indeed our whole ecosystem approach to wildlife and natural habitats can be clearly seen in our new landscaping including the wildflower meadows at the new Falkirk campus. Protecting hedgehogs is all part of our greening vision to support biodiversity as a whole, so this is another great step forward.”
The FVSA would love to have more people join the Campaign at Forth Valley College to help create the safe environments for hedgehogs. Anyone interested in getting involved should contact Elena Semple at Elena.Semple@forthvalley.ac.uk for more information.
To keep up to date with all the latest activities and hedgehog news happening at FVC, follow @SaveTheHogsFVC on Instagram.