Swansea University makes a home for wildlife with its new four year plan

Biodiversity forms the foundation of the processes we rely on for life, that is why Swansea University is committed to implementing its new Biodiversity Action Plan launched today (28 July 2016).

Swansea University is blessed with a wealth of habitats across its two campuses, from the beach and dunes of the Bay to the woodland and gardens of Singleton.

Wildflowers Abbey Meadows  

These habitats are home to a rich variety of wildlife and provide the University with a wonderful resource, whether for teaching the next generation of ecologists vital skills and giving opportunities for research, or simply a healthy and relaxing environment for staff, students and local residents to recharge their batteries.

The Singleton Campus is regularly visited by iconic animals such as otters, polecats and kingfishers, there is a resident peregrine falcon and bats roost in the Abbey buildings.

Wildflowers Bay Campus

The University is also responsible for the last remaining wilderness of the Swansea Bay coast – the 600 acres of sand dune, saltmarsh and beach of Crymlyn Burrows Site of Special Scientific Interest next door to the new Bay Campus and both campuses are open for everyone to enjoy.

 

 

Launching the new four year plan Swansea University’s Biodiversity Officer Ben Sampson said: 

 Nature Trail Singleton“Whilst the University has two campuses which have very rich environments we know that we cannot be complacent. Nature is constantly under pressure. Last year’s State of the Environment report found that Europe’s biodiversity continues to be eroded, with 60% of assessed species and 77% of habitats continuing to be in unfavourable conservation status.

 

“ While the world is losing wildlife at an unprecedented rate, the University has already taken a number of actions to enhance and promote biodiversity across its sites. They include embedding wildlife gardening techniques in the way we look after our grounds – leaving rough uncultivated areas, reducing mowing in areas of flower-rich grassland to let plants set seed, creating log piles and using home-produced compost as a mulch to reduce the use of pesticides; nest boxes and bug hotels have been put up around the campus, and a Nature Trail established (which was launched by the well-known nature observer and TV presenter Iolo Williams).

“ Having expert ecologists and keen students at the University is a massive bonus – the campuses can be used as a living laboratory and their research helps us to understand the wildlife we share our University with, ensuring that our work to protect it is based on the best possible information available. “ The new  41 point Biodiversity Action Plan covers a range of objectives from promotion of the use of the campus green space, encouraging volunteering opportunities for staff and students, the compilation of a species list and the creation of new habitats.

“Embedding sustainability in the University's daily operations and teaching is at the heart of our institution's quest to achieve excellence in every aspect. The new Biodiversity Action Plan will help us move forward to reach our goal.”   

Picture 1: Wild flowers in the Abbey Meadow, Singleton Campus.

Picture 2: Wild flowers at the new Bay Campus.

Picture 3: Visitors and staff enjoying the Nature Trail, Singleton Campus.