The University has over the past few years been trying to create habitat and by doing so broaden species range and biodiversity across campus.
One such habitat is species rich meadowland – important for so many species of insects and birds. Perhaps one of the greatest benefits from this kind of habitat is the foraging potential it provides for pollinators, particularly bees. With this in mind and the serious decline in the bee population over recent decades, we started to increase the amount of wildflower meadowland and to look at other ways in which we could help and encourage bees.
Our efforts coincided with the running of the Green Flag ‘Bees Needs’ award, which we were successful in winning, but the most obvious benefits of the increase in meadowlands are the range of species it attracts and the contribution to the enjoyment of the external environment for all campus users.
1 Our experience is that managing species rich hay meadows is not as straightforward in practise as it is in theory
2 The actions we have targeted at a specific species will more often than not benefit other species which share that habitat
3 We know that by helping bees and other pollinators, we are also helping ourselves through the essential ecosystem service they provide.