Pruning back of some of our boundary hedges has started now often the work needs to be carried out during quieter times such as over the weekends. Most of the work is carried out using the battery powered hedge cutters, loppers and secateurs – quite a challenge with the amount the University owns.
Plenty going on at the moment on site here we have one of our contractors working on a linear group of mixed Poplar and Ash, dead wooding and raising the canopy to around 6 metres to allow for the buses etc.
Plenty going on in and around the pond, here is a female emperor dragonfly laying eggs on some of the debris floating on the surface, you will often see many and varied species of damselflies and dragonflies around water bodies throughout the summer.
Plenty of activity going on in the Sports centre car park, with the felling of two poplars which have been in serious decline to the point where they need to be felled, maintenance had been carried out over a number of years but with the hornet moth damage and fungal infection they needed to come down. With the pollarded Salix alba, these trees have also been managed over the years but with advanced decay and weak growing points it was time to heavily reduce again and remove the danger. As with all our tree work, any bat roost potential was checked out and monitored over a number of weeks prior to the felling. A replacement plan will be put in place once confirmation of any Estates work has been completed.
Do keep an eye out for our stag beetles on site, these are our largest native ground beetles and can be seen sunning themselves on walls and paths or on humid days around dusk time look out for the male, easily identified with the large mandibles (jaws) which resemble the antlers of a deer, flying about looking for a mate. Stag beetles are a protected species listed on schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
Well its that time of year again to plant out the summer bedding and empty the greenhouse of all the plants we have been growing on for the containers etc. dotted around our campus with the warmer weather kicking in .
New planting at Wilfred Brown bed is starting to grow now, the angles reflect the frontage of the building with section left for the STEM centre activities if so required .
Do look out for our pair of Mandarin ducks, they will be close to the water but nest in suitable hollows and holes in trees,the male is one of the most colourful ducks you will see, they make very little noise ,originally from eastern Asia.
Plenty of activity going on in the small dipping pond by the board walk, the frog spawn has hatched out with tadpoles in abundance but the overgrown vegetation and dead foliage still needs to be thinned and cleared. After surveying the area maintenance has now resumed with the reduction of the Glyceria and removing the dead foliage, a small gap has been created for the frogs to exit the pond when ready, the material removed has been left on the side for a few hours so any of the small insects, amphibians and other larvae can return to the water. Soon be starting on the main part of the pond.