Happy Hedgehog Awareness Week from Forest Schools!

Thursday 4th May 2017

At Forest School this week, we’ve been joining in the fun and raising awareness for one of Britain’s much loved small mammals – the hedgehog!

As hedgehogs have declined by 30% over the last 10 years, due to intensified agriculture, pesticide use, road killings and fences being used rather than hedgerows. We thought it would be a great idea to play some hedgehog related activities and games this week, to help raise awareness of the plight of one of our native species.

Year 4’s at St Margaret Mary’s Primary School in Moston absolutely loved our ‘Hedgehog hide and seek essentials game’. This involved hiding four ‘essentials’ cards around their woodland area such as water, shelter, food and suitable habitat.

The children were tasked with finding a set of all four cards in order for their hedgehog to survive. After a few runs, we removed half of the habitat cards, so that the children could learn that without an appropriate habitat, a hedgehog would not survive.

Elliot (pictured, right) says: “I wish Forest School was all day Miss, because I don’t have a place like this at home”.

We also played a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ game, whereby we asked the children questions regarding hedgehog ecology and biology. The ending score was 12-10 and even the teaching assistants from the school said they had learnt something new, Mrs. Valentine explained here:

“We’re currently studying animals for science, such as the habitats they live in, what they eat, what country they live in and how much they weigh. We’ve done creepy crawlies, but now we’re on to larger animals, so this really fits in well with the curriculum”.

Our last activity was to build hedgehog homes or ‘hedgehog hotels’ as one boy claimed. The children set off deciding what natural resources to use, and which spaces would attract the hedgehogs the most.

The imagination of these children boomed, and I’m sure I could see some engineers in the making as they carefully positioned each wood piece, and took the lead as Project Manager.

One group of youngsters even created ‘idea time’; whereby the group came together, and decided how to take the building of the hedgehog home further, before splitting into groups to fetch more sticks. It was wonderful to see the children working together, and using their imagination to create a shelter for their native wildlife.

Above is a picture of one of the beautiful Hedgehog homes a group of girls managed to create in one morning. When I asked one of the boys to fill me in on the design of his, this is what he said…

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For more information, see our dedicated webpage here or contact Emma Ackerley at eackerley@lancswt.org.uk