It is easy to get lost in the negatives of lockdown, but for our Hog Friendly team at the University of Lincoln, it was the start of our rewilding project.
During lockdown, my daily walk was through our University city campus grounds. As we let areas grow long, I saw first-hand how our native wildlife was finding respite in these spaces of long swishing grass, populated with all manner of wildflowers such as poppies, bee orchids, daisies, dandelions and thistles. Most importantly, our hedgehogs seemed to love it.
I captured a short video of a hoglet in the long grass during a night wildlife walk in lockdown. There is nothing quite like hearing the snuffle of a small snout, the rustle of those brilliant creatures making their way through the tufty grass in the night.
When it came to reopening campus, our team put forward a motion to our senior leadership – we wanted to leave some key spaces wild when our University community came back. We spoke with our grounds team for advice on what would work best, pulled together photographs, and listed the amount of wildlife that had been seen.
This was essential – we wanted to prove the benefit of rewilded areas on campus. Four spaces were approved and we created signage for them.
We have had a huge amount of positivity for these areas; they have not only been embraced by our wildlife but also by our community. We would recommend making this a key part of any hedgehog friendly campaign.
Rewilding areas is essential in ensuring that we are protecting our wildlife. Whether at home or at work, in community gardens or on the edge of a balcony, providing plants or leaf piles can truly have a positive impact on local pollinators, birds and mammals.