Sustainable Practices – seed propagation and plants grown in-house

We have been busy with seed propagation this week in our Estate Services Centre Nursery.

The cuttings are soft-wood material using the techniques of nodal, heel and mallet cuttings.

This important work, of growing plants in-house and planting them on campus and by residences, means that we are reducing our carbon footprint, working within our sustainability practices and reducing costs.

  

Hedgehog Awareness Week – 3rd to 9th May 2020

It’s Hedgehog Awareness Week, so we thought it would be a good time to highlight the problems hedgehogs face and how you can help them, especially as we are spending more time in our gardens at the moment.

There are many simple things we can all do to help hedgehogs:

  • Create a log pile that will offer shelter and food.
  • Cover drains or deep holes.
  • Avoid using pesticides and slug pellets in your garden, not only can these harm hedgehogs but also damage their food chain. Use organic methods instead.
  • Make sure hedgehogs have easy access to your garden. Ensure boundary fences or walls have a 13cm x 13cm gap in the bottom to allow hedgehogs to pass through.
  • Keep a corner of your garden wild to offer shelter, protection and natural food for hedgehogs and other wildlife.
  • Encourage hedgehogs into your garden, but you should never just move one in from another area, as it may well have a nest of dependent young that you would be condemning to death.
  • Provide a shallow dish of fresh water for all wildlife, and food such as hedgehog food, meaty cat or dog food or cat biscuits for hedgehogs, especially during long dry spells.
  • Make or buy a hedgehog home (see plans), this offers a hibernation site safe from predators in the winter. It may also be used as a nesting box for a mother and her hoglets in the warmer months.
  • Check areas thoroughly for hedgehogs and other wildlife before strimming or mowing.
  • Keep pea netting 22-30cms (9 – 12”) off the ground so hedgehogs can pass under
    and plants will grow to the netting.
  • Dispose of litter responsibly. Every year hedgehogs are injured by litter and starve to death by getting trapped in discarded rubbish.
  • Bonfires offer a tempting home for a hedgehog. Ideally collected materials should be re-sited just before the fire is to be lit, if this is not possible, the base should be lifted up with poles or broom handles (not a fork!) and a torch shone in to look for any wildlife or pets in need of rescue before lighting.
  • Hedgehogs are good swimmers but can become trapped in ponds or pools with
    sheer sides. Keep water levels topped up, provide a gently sloping edge if possible or place half submerged rocks in the water as an escape for them.
  • Finally, take care on the roads, hedgehogs are nocturnal so are often seen out at
    night. A hedgehog’s natural defence mechanism is to roll into a ball – this is no
    match for a motor vehicle.

British Hedgehog Preservation Society Chief Executive, Fay Vass, said 
“Our gardens take up such a lot of habitat, and by getting together with neighbours to ensure hedgehogs have access points and hedgehog friendly features in the garden, we can open up a really useful amount of habitat for them.  You could become a Hedgehog Champion for your area at Hedgehog Street – a project run by BHPS and our partners People’s Trust for Endangered Species.  Join 70,000 Champions by signing up at www.hedgehogstreet.org – there’s even a Hedgehog Street app you can download from The App Store or Google Play!”

 

Winter Bird Survey Highlights

The results of the winter bird survey carried out by an independent consultant on our campuses have been received and we wanted to share the highlights:

Streatham Campus recorded its highest number of birds on campus since 2013/14 with 1,392 birds.

This represented 36 different bird species, 24% of which are listed on the the RSPB Red/Amber List; suggesting that the campus continues to be an important habitat for threatened species including the Grey Wagtail, Thrush, Sparrow and Redwing.

Grey Wagtail

Thrush

Sparrow

Redwing

St Luke’s Campus, although smaller than Streatham Campus, recorded 290 birds; up from the 2013/14 baseline of 236 birds and continuing an upward trent.

Out of the 19 species recorded, 6 species are listed on the RSPB Red/Amber List including the Starling which had not been recorded at Streatham Campus.

Starling

It’s great to see that the work of the Grounds Team, to manage the environment and use maintenance techniques that consider and promote biodiversity and habitat conservation, continues to deliver positive benefits for wildlife.

New Environmental Foamstream System

The University’s Grounds Team have purchased a new piece of equipment with the environment in mind. The water based foamstream system deals with moss, algae and weeds without the use of chemicals.

It is proving particularly useful in the historic listed landscape of Reed Hall as there is no risk of damaging the stonework.

The photos below show some of our staff using the new foamstream equipment and the difference achieved in the treated areas.

Grounds staff using the new foamstream equipment

Reed Hall gardens – before the foamstream application

Reed Hall gardens – after the foamstream application

Reed Hall stonework – before the foamstream application

Reed Hall stonework – after the foamstream application

 

Go Green Week – Monday 10th to Friday 14th February 2020

It’s Go Green Week from Monday 10th to Friday 14th February. The University and the Students’ Guild are teaming up with a range of student societies, the Grounds Team, academics and local community members to offer a range of events and activities to encourage people to think about environmental issues and support people to take positive environmental action in their own lives and communities.

Go Green Week events and programme:

Monday 10 – Waste & Recycling

  • Go Green in the Forum – 11:00-15:00 – Forum
  • Free hot drinks if you have a reusable cup – 11:00 – Forum
  • Nourish – zero-waste shop stand – 11:00-15:00 – Forum
  • Eco-brick stand – 11:00-15:00 – Forum
  • Litter pick – TBC

Tuesday 11 – Travel & Energy

  • Free bike safety checks – 10:30-14:30 – Great Hall Piazza
  • Bike maintenance workshops – 10:30-15:00 – Great Hall Piazza
  • Plant Sale – 09:00-14:00 – Cross Keys, St Luke’s
  • Bike security marking and equipment discounts – 11:00-15:00
  • Go Green in the Forum – 11:00-15:00 – Forum
  • Free hot drinks if you have a reusable cup – 11:00 – Forum
  • Student Switch Off Climate Change Quiz – 11:00-15:00 – Forum

Wednesday 12 – Wellbeing & Education

  • Free bike safety checks – Cross Keys – 10:30-14:30
  • Go Green in the Forum – 11:00-15:00 – Forum
  • Free hot drinks if you have a reusable cup – 11:00 – Forum
  • St. Luke’s Garden Open Sessions – 12:00-14:00 – South Cloisters
  • Tree Planting Session – 13:30 – Meet at Chapel Drive
  • Streatham Campus Community Garden open session – 15:00-17:00 – Community Garden

Thursday 13 – Biodiversity & Environment

  • Go Green in the Forum – 11:00-15:00 – Forum
  • Free hot drinks if you have a reusable cup – 11:00 – Forum
  • Grounds Guided Tour – 12:00-13:00 – Forum Piazza

Friday 14 – Food & Fashion

  • Go Green in the Forum – 11:00-15:00 – Forum
  • Free hot drinks if you have a reusable cup – 11:00 – Forum
  • Clothes swap event – 11:00-15:00 – Forum
  • Giki stand – 11:00-15:00 – Forum
  • Vegan food stall – 11:00-15:00 – Forum
  • Food & Fashion Q&A – 14:30-15:30 – Forum Seminar Room 03
  • Go Green Week finale – refreshments – 15:30-16:30 – Forum

You can also find out more about student-led projects, local groups and opportunities to get involved in at the Information Fair every day in The Forum http://www.exeter.ac.uk/sustainability/newsandevents/gogreenweek/

The Amazing Benefits of Trees!

The University of Exeter Streatham and St Luke’s Campuses, fields and woodland areas contain over 10,000 mature trees managed by the Grounds Team and we are keen to show the amazing benefits of these magnificent trees.

We recently undertook another i-tree survey of our trees, which converts measurements such as tree height, girth and canopy spread into an economic value of the natural benefits they provide.

Using some of the results from this updated survey, we have produced new wooden tree information signs which will replace the existing ones on campus.

Keep an eye out for these new signs which are displayed on trees around the grounds.

National Tree Week

It’s National Tree Week and to celebrate we thought we’d give you some information about our trees. We have over 10,000 trees on our Exeter campuses, over 100 Champion trees, 3 Arboretums and a Jubilee Woodland.

They make an environmental contribution storing 1,951 tonnes of carbon per annum worth £125,000.

We are about to start this season’s tree planting to sustain the campus tree cover.

If you would like to know more about some of our prominent and unusual trees please download the Streatham Campus Tree Trail guide from our website. We are also currently developing a St Luke’s Campus Tree Trail .

Oak Tree at Reed Arboretum

Jubilee Water Walk – Guided Tours 22nd & 29th November 2016

This is an opportunity to have a guided tour of the newly developed Jubilee Water Walk.  These walks will be led by the Arts and Culture Co-ordinator, Environment and Sustainability Adviser or the Grounds Team and will provide an insight into the waterways and water features on the Streatham Campus.

22nd November 2016 (Route B) – Art, History and Stories

29th November 2016 (Route B) – Biodiversity and Horticultural Highlights

12.15pm to 1.15pm, meet at the bottom of Stocker Road / Rennes Drive near the roundabout, point 8 on the map

Taddiforde%20Valley%20Bridge(1)

Top%20Pond(1)