Ipswich School goes the whole (hedge)hog!

Gardeners at Ipswich School are doing their bit to help Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s campaign to make Ipswich the most hedgehog friendly town in the UK.

The two members of the school’s Grounds Team, Paul Cole and Terry Gillam, have been working hard to create a habitat which is appealing to hedgehogs, making the most of the woodland and wildlife at the Ipswich School boarding house.

They have created six hedgehog houses, as well as many log piles, which provide a perfect habitat for a hedgehog’s favourite food, insects. The team have also made some gaps in fences to allow hedgehogs to pass through so that they have as wide a foraging area as possible in the boarding house grounds. 

Suffolk Wildlife Trust aim to recruit ‘hedgehog champions’ to help provide areas of gardens where the mammals can live in safety, hoping to reverse the major decline in their numbers which has occurred over the past fifteen years.

Suffolk Wildlife Trust's hedgehog officer for Ipswich, Ali North, visited the site last week to see the work at Ipswich School.  She said: “It’s brilliant to have Ipswich School on board with our project – hedgehogs can roam around 2km in a night, so need large expanses of connected habitat to survive. The Ipswich School boarding house provides some excellent habitat in the centre of town – but we’d love to encourage the surrounding streets to get involved too. The creation of Hedgehog Highways – ground level fence holes around the size of a CD case – are the perfect way of giving hedgehogs access to gardens, and will go a long way in helping them thrive in a town environment.”

Paul Wranek, Ipswich School Bursar who oversees the teams responsible for the maintenance of Ipswich School property, added: “Our Grounds Team take excellent care of the extensive acreage at Ipswich School, and we are delighted that this includes making a difference to the habitats of hedgehogs and other creatures.”

Pupils from the school also carry out work in Christchurch Park on a weekly basis, assisting with conservation activities in the park.
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