We’re proud of how our partner universities are committed to becoming more environmentally conscious. That’s why we were happy to learn that the University of Essex has won a gold award for protecting local wildlife!

Essex wins gold at the Hedgehog Friendly Campus Awards 2021–22

Hedgehogs are small and timid creatures that are native to the UK. They are also adorable! Unfortunately though, they are fast becoming a threatened species.

Hedgehog numbers in the UK have fallen by half since the year 2000 and they are officially classified as ‘vulnerable to extinction’ in the country. This is because development since World War 2 has eroded their natural habitat of hedges and woods, and pesticide use in farming means there are not enough insects for them to feed on.

Working in the topsoil

However, the University of Essex is making impressive efforts to protect the cute animals and in 2022, the University was officially recognised as a gold-accredited Hedgehog Friendly Campus! They were honoured by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society in the 2021–22 awards for a number of measures taken over recent years at the main Colchester Campus. These include:

  • hiring 2 full-time litter pickers to keep the campus free from rubbish
  • installing hedgehog boxes so the animals can keep warm and dry
  • running a campaign highlighting hedgehog welfare and giving advice on how to help them
  • leaving natural log piles around the campus which attract insects, giving hedgehogs a source of food and a place to sleep.

Biodiversity at the Colchester Campus

The term ‘biodiversity’ refers to the variety of animal and plant life in a particular area. A good level of biodiversity is essential for a healthy planet.

Alongside the hedgehogs, the University of Essex’s Colchester Campus has 18 distinct habitats housing a wide variety of plant and animal species! Not only that but there are many rare and notable species too.

For example, Campus Farm, Hance Meadow, Hay Meadow and Skipper’s Meadow all feature acid grassland, a scarce habitat in the UK that supports species such as bees, butterflies, and many kinds of rare insects and spiders.

Elsewhere on campus, Poplars Row and South Courts Grassland house rare black poplar trees, and at Oak Parkland you can find oak trees that are over 400 years old! There are also 3 beautiful lakes which feature in artwork by the famous 19th century painter, John Constable.

The lakes themselves are important wetland habitats, and are home to many species of ducks, Canadian geese, moorhens and other birds, as well as several species of fish.

All of this goes to show that the University of Essex is a great place to study if you’re interested in conservation, environmentalism or sustainability, or even if you’d just like to study somewhere with lots of campus wildlife!

Shape your future with a degree from the University of Essex

You’ll be able to truly make a difference with a degree from the University of Essex, which is ranked top 30 in the UK (Complete University Guide 2022).

Kaplan helps international students gain entry to an Essex degree through a range of university preparation courses at the University of Essex International College. Known as pathway courses, they enable you to improve your academic skills and English language level, so you meet the University’s entry requirements.

There are options for undergraduate and postgraduate students, in a wide variety of subject areas, so you’re sure to find something that fits your goals. If you’d like to find out more, you can use the degree finder below to see what you could study at the University of Essex, or contact us if you have any questions.