Primary school pupils care for rescued hedgehogs

Photo of a group of pupils with a hogbox.
A hogbox (hedgehog box) made by some of the Wheatfield pupils.

Nine rescued hedgehogs that have been looked after over the winter by volunteers from Hedgehog Rescue Bristol & South Gloucestershire (located in Yate) have been released into the grounds of Wheatfield Primary School in Bradley Stoke.

Pupils from the school’s ‘EcoClub’ carried out a litter pick ahead of the release programme and a trail has been set up for pupils to follow and learn about Britain’s favourite wild animal.

The hedgehogs will spend their days in hedgehog houses built by pupils last November, whilst at night they will forage for food within the school grounds and beyond. Supplementary food is also being provided to ensure they are well cared for.

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The release programme is part of the school’s ‘Our Nature Needs’ biodiversity project, which aims to increase wildlife within the school grounds and the surrounding community. Pupils have already built bird boxes that have been put up in the school’s ‘Wildwood’. There has also been a successful bird ringing project which has seen nearly 60 birds weighed, sexed and aged. So far 12 species have been recorded through the project.

The next phase of the project is to create a series of ‘hedgehog highways’, starting from the school and expanding out into neighbouring gardens. Hedgehogs can travel up to two miles a night in search for food, so the pupils are keen to make holes in garden fences to allow the hedgehogs to roam around the town.

Photomontage showing two hedgehogs being held by children.
Pupils holding rescue hedgehogs in the grounds of Wheatfield Primary School.

The project has received funding from South Gloucestershire Council’s Climate Emergency Fund and the Member Awarded Funding scheme. The Almondsbury Charity has also kindly donated to the community wildlife project. The project is also being supported by the Friends of Wheatfield Primary School. It is hoped that lessons can be learnt from the project and shared with other schools in the area to boost biodiversity within Bradley Stoke.

This article originally appeared in the May 2021 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal magazine (on pages 10 & 11). The magazine is delivered FREE, nine times a year, to ALL 8,700 homes in Bradley Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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