Hartpury College

The latest news and views from Hartpury

Animal and Land 02Feb 2016

A case of mistaken identity for Madagascan Morris as new species makes Hartpury its home

A case of mistaken identity for Madagascan Morris as new species makes Hartpury its home

Looks can be deceiving and, at first glance, you’d hedge your bets that Hartpury has welcomed a hedgehog to join its ever-growing animal collection.

But the college has actually opened its doors to a lesser known species all the way from the African island of Madagascar with Morris, the lesser hedgehog tenrec, settling in well to his new Hartpury home.

Although the two-year-old may look like a hedgehog, the tenrec can resemble a wide variety of mammals, including hedgehogs, shrews, opossums, mice and even otters.

Isolated from many other would-be mammalian competitors in Madagascar for millions of years, the tenrec evolved into many different species as it adapted to its niche habitat to thrive, and survive, in its environment.

And Morris is now getting used to his new surroundings with Hartpury students playing a key role in its care and nurturing its development. 

Emma Bain, Hartpury’s Animal Management Unit Technician, said: “It’s true that the tenrec’s defence mechanisms of coiling into a ball and raising their spikes are extremely similar to that of a hedgehog.

“They are also primarily nocturnal and, due to their poor eyesight, they depend on their incredible sense of smell to locate food.

“We have created a brand new vivarium for Morris, which has space for him to climb and take sand baths, which he will love.

“Tenrecs are not shy creatures so Morris makes a great addition to the unit as he does not mind being handled. He will prove useful for the ecology, conservation and handling units that our students study here at Hartpury.

“Plus he shows students that the animal kingdom can throw you a few curve balls!”

18 Oct 2016 Animal and Land

No more tilling – it’s time for direct drilling at Hartpury!

Hartpury Agriculture students had their eyes opened to an alternative approach to sowing the seeds of the future.

17 Oct 2016 Animal and Land

Brexit and beyond –student farmers consider the future of agriculture outside the EU

Hartpury’s student farmers of the future weighed in on the debate and discussions surrounding agriculture in post-Brexit Britain during a talk with local experts.


11 Oct 2016 Animal and Land

Does a harness help make a happy dog? Hartpury research team investigates

What’s the best way to walk your dog? A team of Hartpury researchers have been comparing collars to harnesses to investigate the impact on canine behaviour and comfort.


11 Oct 2016 Animal and Land

Unlocking the secrets of the soil: new technology helps Hartpury’s agricultural innovators dig deep into future of farming

Agricultural technicians have been digging deep on Hartpury’s farms to scan the fields and map the soils; using state of the art technology to ensure that the College can make the most of every inch of the land.