The Grounds team have been very busy this winter clearing up areas where damage has been done by the numerous projects that take place on campus. The upgrade of the access road in preparation for the Learning and Teaching Centre being one example. A temporary road was created straight through a large shrubbery near the Howell building with the ripped up plants just left in situ. The team have cleared away the debris and opened up the space ready for new understory planting which will be designed to enhance the biodiversity in the area.
Had to take down the Robinia pseudoacacia due to basal infection and decay in the stem-not the best location either being on the main spine and leaning over Marie Jahoda building however managed to borrow the cherry picker to breakdown the tree in manageable sections. Left part of the trunk standing at the moment until we can have the stump removed.
The Christmas tree had to be relocated from the quad due to the Crank building works at short notice, it now has a new home near the Indoor Athletic Centre and Eastern Gateway entrance making it easier to crane into place, around 80 metres of lights have been used to decorate the 24ft tree seen here in a rather blurred photo.
Another successful planting session with the Brunel Wildlife and Environmental Conservation Society, the weather actually held for a short time which gave the opportunity to get the bulbs planted.
The Grounds department don’t just cover the landscape, outdoor sports facilities and biodiversity we also get involved in numerous events that happen throughout the year working with many departments, student societies and volunteers for different projects.Over the last few days we have been involved with the set up and de-rig of the fireworks event that took place on Monday 5th November including assisting with the construction of the bonfire working with the Health and Safety team and student volunteers.
The Bees of Brunel seem to have settled in pretty well now and are still fairly active despite the mixed weather we have been enduring recently. Here is one taking a breather up at the sports park.
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!