Here is just a selection of butterflies and moths that can be found on our campus. Do keep your eyes open for them where they can be often found around our wild flower areas,grasslands and shrubberies. Why not take part in the ‘Big Butterfly Count’ recording your sightings.
Across the campus wildflower turf has been installed to identified areas not only to brighten them up with the wonderful mix of colours but also to provide essential food for our very important pollinators including bees, hoverflies and butterflies . The picture below is taken close to our pond and the Wilfred Brown building.
Ten top tips for helping our hedgehogs.
- Avoid using pesticides and slug pellets in the garden these not only harm hedgehogs but also their food chain try organic methods instead a hedgehog is a gardeners friend.
- Create a hedgehog highway with your neighbours by having a 13cm x 13cm gap at the bottom of a boundary fence for hedgehogs to pass through
- Provide a shallow dish with clean fresh water and leave some meaty hedgehog food,meaty cat or dog food or cat biscuits especially during long dry spells.
- Make a hedgehog house which can offer hibernation protection in a quiet corner of your garden also can be used as a nesting box for a mother and her hoglets in the warmer months.
- Build a pond ramp or create a slope so hedgehogs or other creatures who may fall in can climb out safely
- Check your bonfire before setting a light, ideally re-site or build on the actual day of burning
- Dispose of litter responsibly ,hedgehogs can get trapped and could starve to death
- Before strimming you garden check underneath shrubs etc to avoid injuring a hedgehog
- Take care on the road hedgehogs defence is to roll into a ball so watch out for them at night as they are nocturnal.
- Keep sheds,greenhouses and garage doors closed as these can be dangerous places for our hedgehogs getting trapped .
You may have noticed the removal of the linear group of hybrid poplars by the entrance of the Sports centre car park,this is to remove the risk of failure on health and safety grounds.For the last ten years or so these trees have been carefully monitored as they have been affected by the hornet moth(Sesia apiformis) larvae boring in low down on the main trunk,this opens the tree up to a whole host of pathogens and gradually the trees become weakened and dysfunctional also where project work has taken place on paths and drainage over the years further weakening the root structure, causing the trees to decline.This decline could be seen in the dieback of the branches, the lack of vigour in the leaf canopy and the general health of the tree. Tree surgery has taken place over the years to keep the trees safe but with the failure of one of the healthier specimen’s the management plan has been accelerated. Plans are already being put into place to replant with more suitable species to enhance the area which will enhance the biodiversity of the campus.
One of our family of badgers has been pretty active recently,clearing out old bedding material, hopefully, we will see new cubs in the next few weeks.
Watch out for Badger activity such as snuffle holes in the grass areas where badgers are looking for earthworms.
While the North loop has been quiet with little traffic the team have taken the opportunity to take down one of the badly damaged Aspens which has now become a risk using the cherry picker owned by Estates. A new tree planting plan will be put into action with a more appropriate species being used to enhance biodiversity linking parts of the campus together.
Another mixed area created using wildflower turf around the Faraday accommodation, enhancing biodiversity by attracting many pollinating insects, butterflies etc as well as brightening up a difficult corner. lets hope vehicles keep off the area!
The Grounds department have been awarded for the fourth consecutive year the Green Flag Award which is the benchmark national standard for publicly accessible parks and green spaces in the United Kingdom.Well done Team.
The Grounds Team have been very busy all through Covid -19 managing the campus landscape. Tree work has been carried out as per our survey and maintenance schedule including the reduction of the Salix alba’s along in the Lancaster hotel garden following a pollarding regime. Bat boxes and bird boxes are located in the vicinity helping the varied habitats along the river Pinn corridor.
One of a number of hedgehog homes put around the campus, hopefully a new resident will move in to the vacant possession soon. Keep a look out for our hedgehog on Site.