Encouraging biodiversity at NTU

The sedum roof on the university's Newton building

The sedum roof on the university's Newton building

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.

Gill Crofts
NTU Environment Team

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Encouraging biodiversity at NTU

  1. Peter Bowler says:

    Both Mr and Mrs P at nest today 3pm (07 05 12) Mrs P brought a pigeon in, Mr P looked a bit fed up and went of for a bit of peace and quiet as all dads will tell you you need it to keep sane when youve
    got demanding kids!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s