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 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 2019/20
Examples of some of our targets for this year are:
- Map St John’s Campus in detail for land use by August 2020
- Expand the ‘Malvern Meadow’ wildflower meadows on St John’s Campus including information boards by August 2020
- Apply for a Natural Networks grants to increase biodiversity on campus by April 2020
- Update the university Biodiversity Action Plan to incorporate the Worcestershire Biodiversity Action Plan, third edition, and implement all actions
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.
Ecology and Environment Research Group
Dr Duncan Westbury research includes agro-ecology projects investigating methods of promoting biodiversity in arable and grassland habitats. At the University of Worcester, he leads the Ecology and Environment Research Group (EERG), which focusses on the delivery of ecosystem services, and wildlife management. 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. Working closely 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.
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.