The Streatham Campus continues to provide a wide range of habitats which help support birds, insects, reptiles, mammals and aquatic life. The habitats should not be viewed in isolation, as they help form important links and wildlife corridors to other areas of open space not owned or maintained by the University. In this respect, the campus spaces make an important contribution to biodiversity in Exeter and the wider county of Devon.
We have developed a Streatham Campus Biodiversity Trail which can be downloaded from our website. Please do take a walk around the campus and see the species supported throughout the year and the techniques we use to support wildlife on campus.
We are in the process of developing a St Luke’s Campus Biodiversity Trail, which will also available to download.
Grounds staff have had to unfortunately remove the Cedar tree between Streatham Farm and Hatherly. The multi-stemmed Cedar had become damaged as a result of gales a few years ago, but quick action meant that the tree’s life was extended by adding some bracing between the remaining trunks.
However, in recent times the wound created became infected by a Fistulina or Beefsteak fungus which caused brown brittle rot to develop in the centre of the remaining trunks.
A further inspection using the Picus sonic decay device confirmed a large proportion of the tree’s heartwood had been damaged and the tree could suffer a brittle fracture. As this gave the tree a high hazard rating score, action had to be take to remove it.
When the tree was originally damaged a replacement Cedar was planted as a precaution and we will also be planting more than 30 young trees across our campuses during the current dormant season.
The Grounds arborists have made use of their planking saw and have converted some of the best wood from the Cedar tree to make three rustic seats. Also, this area will be re-landscaped in Spring 2017 to create a new space making the most of the view across Hoopern Valley.
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
One of our arborists, Nathan, has been using an Arb-Ex tree spade to decompact the ground, using compressed air, around the roots of a mature Oak tree by Reed pond. This will help extend the life of the tree by improving air and water uptake.
The independent survey of birds on Streatham Campus and St Luke’s Campus, recorded during Spring and Summer this year, has just been completed. We were encouraged that, overall, we have a good spread of bird species and numbers using our campuses for breeding. This suggests we continue to sustain a range of suitable habitats.
The top five species recorded on campus were:
Importantly, as well as the regular feathery users of campus, we also have use by some of the species on the RSPB red and amber lists including Dunnock, House Sparrow, Bullfinch, Song Thrush, Redwing and Herring Gull.
We continue to strive to have a range of plants and trees on campus in formal and informal settings that provide food and habitats for bird species and also a range of fauna that helps to add to the value and purpose of the campuses in the centre of Exeter.
Come along and sing songs of water that are quick and easy for all to learn by ear. It will be an hour of calm and reflection. As part of the Diamond Waterways Project, we will be celebrating the beauty of our waterways though song and taking advantage of one of our natural amphitheatres. Please check the event listing on the day in case of cancellation.