It’s good to see the grass growing again on the quad after all the activities that have taken place on it these last few months ,with a bit of TLC from the team and the use of the growth mats it looks much more healthy- just in time for the next onslaught of activities during fresher’s week no doubt.
People have asked what species of bats we have on Site ,well we have recorded around six species at the moment in various locations which isn’t bad considering how much light pollution is generated from the campus, the limited habitat (which we are improving) and all the activity going on. Bats play an important part in our environment and of course are a protected species so we need to do what we can to ensure their well being around site so keep an eye out for the various bat boxes which will be going up over the next few months. The picture below is of a soprano pipistrelle (pipistrellus pygmaeus) which we do have on site but this one was actually taken at another location on a bat box check last month but it does give a close up view of the size and what one species of bat on site looks like(only licenced people can handle bats).
Photo by SGC©
Yes, we have had both on campus -Jacksonville Jaguars paid us a visit last week running their Academy up at the Sports Park.Two American football pitches were marked out on the only bit of green grass we appear to have at the moment.
We also now have a beehive on campus set up, it is a student union project with a plan to produce honey, bees are very important pollinators so its great to have on site!
Here is another section of wild flowers newly sown on Site, ideal for the bees. Despite the really hot and dry conditions they still look good, hopefully people can enjoy them without having to walk through them.
While continuing with the bat survey came across the Brunel hedgehog queuing at the calisthenics bars, being shy it trundled off into the shrubbery nearby, lookout for our hedgehog as they tend to have no road sense.
Had to take down a couple of old white willows which had been pollarded in the past, badly rotted at the base so a high risk of failure ,not good when leaning over into the car park. Checked them out for any bat roosts luckily they were all clear so could be felled without too much hassle, replanting programme already planned.
So what’s happened here? Well the grass area was really struggling next to Mary Secole building so we’ve scarified it then sown ,with some top dressing as a carrier, an annual wildflower mix to add a bit of colour and of course food for the bees, butterflies and other such insects. Hopefully we should have a mix of colours this summer, also look out for a number of other areas sown with wild flower mixes across the campus.
The summer bedding is growing at a fair old pace at the moment in the greenhouse(3,000+ plants) especially with the great bank holiday weather! good to see the sun for a change though it does make it difficult to harden off the plants with no cold frames to use and a rather dilapidated greenhouse with poor ventilation, still planting out should be OK around the end of May.
See if you can spot this plant around campus, botanical name of Fritillaria meleagris sometimes known as the snakes-head fritillary they are in a few locations.