Badger watch

As the weather starts to turn colder and wetter thought it would be time to pay a visit to one of our badger clans to see how they are getting on. judging by some of the footage take they seem pretty active, clearing old bedding and replacing with new also starting to put on their winter coat ready for the cold months ahead.

Bat Week

This week is bat week so here a few batty bits of information for you;

There are 18 species of bats that can be seen in the Uk but only 17 species breed here.

Most British bats are small with wingspans shorter than a sparrow but our largest bat the Noctule can have a wingspan of up to around 450mm.

Bats are the only mammals that can fly.

All British bats eat insects including beetles,midges, flies and moths so they are great to have around.

Bats use echolocation to hunt and catch their prey.

Bats are very important for our environment, so it is essential we protect them and the habitats that they live feed and breed.

Bats don’t hibernate as such but during the colder months they go into a state of torpor where they can slow down their heart rate and adjust body temperature to the surroundings until it warms up.

Soprano pipistrelle

Butterflies and Moths of Brunel

WIth the weather being so warm and dry keep an eye for the Jersey tiger moth .This unusual moth is becoming a more frequent visitor to site and has been seem during the day in a number of locations across campus including Site 1 meadows and up at the Eastern Gateway.When in flight its colourful underwings can be seen either bright orange or yellow with dark spots .

A rather poor picture of a Jersey tiger moth up at the Mary Secole building

Green Flag Award

Well despite the aftermath of lockdown and the the erratic weather including high temperatures and drought the Grounds Department have managed to retain the Green flag award, this is a great achievement by the Team.This is a rare photo where all the Team are together in one place up at the sports park just prior to the preparation of numerous pitches in readiness for the London Cup.

Well done Team.

Meadows

Wildflower and species rich grasslands play an important part in our ecosystem and biodiversity. They support a huge range of wildlife including bees, flies, spiders, butterflies, moths, reptiles, small mammals, bats, dragonflies, damselflies and birds to name a few.

Species rich grasslands also provide environmental benefits including carbon storage, water retention which helps to prevent flooding and a great habitat for crop pollinators.

Badger Cub

Last week one of our badger cubs was found sleeping close to one of our fences but out in the open and vulnerable.She was carefully moved then briefly checked over.She was clearly dehydrated so given some water which she lapped up,however we were very concerned for her so she was taken to Harper Asprey Wildlife Rescue where their expert staff could assess her more thoroughly. Hopefully more information will become available when she has had a thorough examination.

Mandarin Ducks

As the weather warms up it is good to see plenty of wildlife around on campus especially birdlife making nests ready for the new breeding season.The pond is well known for Moorhen,coot and mallard which all breed there but we also have plenty of activity on the river.Do look out for the Mandarin ducks which can be seen around close by usually under tree cover along the river being a shy bird. Did you know that the mandarin duck often makes its nest in tree holes often quite high up.

Male and female Mandarin ducks the male being brightly coloured