Meet Waterside's new spiky residents: two hedgehogs move in to University of Northampton campus

Five month old hedgehogs, Phantom and Warlock, are happily settled into their new home and may soon be joined by a third prickly pal

By Megan Hillery
Friday, 14th January 2022, 4:30 pm

A University of Northampton campus has two new, spiky residents following a hedgehog rehoming event held just before Christmas.

Hedgehogs, Phantom and Warlock, successfully moved in at the Waterside campus as part of the University of Northampton’s ‘hedgehog-friendly campus’ initiative.

Managing the move was senior lecturer in environmental science, Janet Jackson, along with student Freya Smith - who leads the university’s 'Hedgehog Squad' - and members of the campus and estates services team.

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Five month old hedgehogs, Phantom (left) and Warlock (right).

Hedgehog rescue organisation 'Little Wiggly Snouts' was also on hand to give advice on looking after these released animals. They also brought a hedgehog house, feeding station and food to help Waterside’s newest prickliest residents get settled in.

Games design student Freya said: “It’s wonderful to see the university’s latest additions happily settling in to their new home and the beautiful surroundings of Waterside campus, helped by great support from UON teams.

“I feel this is the beginning of leaving a legacy to support wildlife at the university and shows that we are engaging with supporting animal rehabilitation with a local animal rescue centre.

"The next steps are to set up a student-led society to continue supporting hedgehogs after my graduation this year, and to apply for – and hopefully get – gold status for all of our work.”

Warlock and Phantom are only five months old and, as they have been hand-reared, still need to learn how to forage for food.

At this time of year, there is less of the type of food hedgehogs like to eat such as slugs, worms, beetles and insect larvae. Their diet is what earns them the name of 'gardener's ally'.

Members of the university’s environmental science subject area and campus and estates services team volunteered to ensure Warlock and Phantom were watered and fed with a tasty cat food mix over the festive season.

Both hedgehogs are doing well, and it is hoped they will be joined by fellow prickly pal, Goblin, who was just under the ideal weight for his release.

In the spring of last year, the university’s efforts to be a more hedgehog-friendly campus were recognised when it was granted a silver award from the British Hedgehog Preservation Society.

The Hedgehog Squad is now looking to recruit more students and University staff to volunteer to help manage the feeding regime.