The Environment Team has been glued to the falcon cam over the last few weeks and cheers were heard through the Eco Office when we saw that a fourth egg had been laid, matching last year’s clutch.
The chicks should hatch before the end of April. Hopefully they will time it for a weekday – last year’s hatched over the royal wedding bank holiday weekend – so we’ll be able to see the action from the comfort of our desks. Even if we miss it the hatching should get caught on camera and the footage posted online.
Along with the tawny owls, Brackenhurst is home to a few other interesting species, including badgers and great crested newts. The Clifton campus has a resident green woodpecker who can be heard tapping away during the spring and summer, and the city campus is an ideal habitat for urban foxes.
The falcon cam is just one of the many projects we have up and running to encourage and promote biodiversity at NTU. Over the last couple of years the Environment Team has been working closely with our academics and grounds managers to further improve biodiversity on our campuses.
In the next few weeks we will be developing a Clifton trail to showcase the various habitats on campus. The first stage will be a planting day with Glapton Primary and Nursery School where we will plant insect-friendly shrubs and flowers such as western gorse, lavender and barberry as well as building habitat boxes including hedgehog houses, bat roosts and wood piles to provide homes for insects and beetles.
Over at the City campus, the peregrines are nesting high above our living Sedum roof which stretches around three sides of the Newton tower. The green roof attracts birds and bugs of all kinds, increasing the variety of habitats for wildlife right in the middle of the city centre.
Not only is the sedum roof great for wildlife, but it also brings other environmental benefits. Green roofs act as a great insulator, keeping the building below warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. It also intercepts rain water that would otherwise go down the drains, helping to reduce the risk of flash flooding. Another beneficial property of the sedum roof is that it absorbs sunlight, helping to reduce the ‘urban heat-island effect’ which makes cities 2-3 degrees C warmer than non-urban areas.
NTU Environment Team