Birmingham City University is committed to conserving and promoting biodiversity, whilst creating a pleasant working environment for all students and staff.
We have carried out a number of biodiversity projects across the campuses. In 2012, some of our student volunteers joined a Waterways Trust Project to improve the canal-side area adjacent to our City Centre Campus.
Around our City South Campus and the Doug Ellis Sports Centre, we have created wild meadows, erected bird boxes and planted native bulbs. In 2019 we installed beehives on the roof at the City Centre Campus. Student projects are now being scoped out to link to this, such as project surrounding bee counting technology, beehive designs and hot pot designs.
During 2018/19, we planted 2000 crocus bulbs, 1000 daffodil bulbs, 100 allium sphaerocephalon bulbs, 100 wood anemone, and 500 fritillaries across our campuses. In 2020/21 a bug hotel was created and another 1000 native bulbs planted. A mixed native hedgerow was also planted along with various native trees and scrubs. The gardeners are also continually working on recycling more, and are placing compost bins around the campuses. There are regular walk-around audits to assess the Estate and programme-in improvements. Working with our Students’ Union, we also have a number of site food growing allotment projects for students to get involved in, which is currently being encouraged by our SU Earth Society.
Since April 2020 we have been working with FPCR Environment and Design Ltd. to conduct ecological surveys across our sites and develop a Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP). FPCR have completed surveys to measure our ecological baseline, including Preliminary Ecological Appraisals, bat Preliminary Roost Assessments, static bat detector surveys, breeding bird surveys, moth traps and butterfly transects.
Our sites have been found to support a range of common and widespread bird species including robin, blackbird, blue tit, dunnock, song thrush and chiffchaff and badgers are known to be present.
The butterfly transects identified four species present at Pavilion including meadow brown, red admiral, small white and speckled wood, while moth traps identified over 8 species on campus.
The bat detectors deployed at various locations across the campuses recorded a number of species including pipistrelle (both common and soprano), noctule, serotine, brown long-eared and myotis bat. In addition, a walkover survey identified several buildings with bat roosting potential.
A draft BAP has been developed and following consultation with staff, students and the local community, is currently being finalised.
Hedgehog Friendly Campus
We are taking part in the Hedgehog Friendly Campus (HFC) scheme, a national initiative to support universities to help hedgehogs thrive.
We have achieved the Bronze and Silver awards and are currently working towards Gold accreditation, with the help of staff and students who have joined the HFC working group. As a team, we have been completing actions such as holding a HFC launch event, putting a hedgehog house on campus, performing a hedgehog survey, writing a blog about how to give a hedgehog a home and running a fundraising quiz for the British Hedgehog Preservation Society.
You can keep up-to-date with our activities by following us on social media:
Twitter - @BCUHedgehogs
Instagram – @bcuhedgehogfriendly