The university aims to : ‘Enhance biodiversity and incorporate biodiversity in environmental management, creating new opportunities for wildlife on campus wherever possible’ - University of Worcester Sustainability Policy.
The Biodiversity Strategy outlines how the University intends to meet its Policy commitment for biodiversity on its campuses. We have already made great progress in implementing this Policy commitment.
A Strategic Biodiversity Management Group has been formed that meets up to four times a year to drive forward action to manage and enhance biodiversity at the University. This includes staff from the Sustainability Department, Academic Departments, Grounds, students from the Nature Society and external organisations.
Biodiversity SMART targets for 2018/19
Examples of some of our targets for this year are:
- Undertake exercise to collate and organise existing species records
- Work with Worcestershire Biological Records Centre and University staff to set up GIS basedrecords database
- Incorporate new species planting into vegetation patches in accordance with 'Wildlife Gardening' principles
- Implement all detailed actions as set out in the Biodiversity Action Plan.
The Nature Society, supported by sustainability and academic staff, is an active student group that carries out a wide body of surveying, monitoring and research activities alongside training future students to continue their legacy. Their valuable research is used to inform future management practices.
Habitats and species are being actively managed by the University to enhance biodiversity and improve the working and studying environment. Biodiversity has also been a central consideration in the establishing the grounds of The Hive Library, History and Customer Centre for students and the public, established in partnership with Worcestershire County Council.
Biodiversity Action Plan
The University’s Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) implements the commitments set out in this Biodiversity Strategy as part of the University’s ISO14001:2015 Environmental Management System. The BAP focuses on ground level action to take biodiversity management to the next level at the University and create an exemplar of best practice for the Further and Higher Education Sector. The University is also spearheading progress with driving forward biodiversity management.
EAUC Biodiversity Conference
In March 2016, the University hosted the EAUC Biodiversity Conference which was a big success and attended by 60 delegates including staff and students from the University of Worcester. Staff at the University of Worcester also sit on the EAUC Biodiversity Community of Practice. The Grounds Team manages the University playing fields and amenity spaces. Their work also includes the enhancement of trees, hedgerows and habitat availability.
This is done alongside colleagues in academic departments who utilise the open spaces for conservation and education and the Nature Student Society who amongst other things assist in the recording and monitoring of biodiversity on campus. Plans include the creation of a database of species surveys, improving the quality of campus hedgerows and other habitats and enhancing the conservation area.