We are Celebrating the International Day for Biological Diversity

biological-diversityEvery year on 22 May the World celebrates International Day for Biological Diversity.

As a fairly urban campus it might seem like we don’t have a lot of biological diversity but you’d be wrong! Make sure you check out the Biodiversity on Campus displays in the Atrium and Studland House Café on Friday 22 May!

Within just 5km of Talbot Campus we have 7 sites designated for Wildlife Conservation Interest, including; Dorset Heathlands, Bourne Valley, Turbary and Kinson Commons and Talbot Slopes & Cuttings.

18 protected and notable species were identified within a 10km radius of Talbot Campus, meaning that they may occasionally be present on campus if there is suitable habitat available. These include; Badgers, Bats, snakes, slow worms, and lizards. Plus there are many species of beetle, insect and bees to be found on campus.

There are over 25 species of tree and ornamental plants, including; Field Maples, Common Lime, English Oak, Sycamore, Wall Speedwell, Bluebell, Whitebeam, Rowan, Soft Brome, Barron Brome, False Brome, and many more.

As the estate develops The University and the Estates Team are committed to improving the external environment on campus, including biodiversity. Specific measures for building works so far include;

  • Commitment to environmental performance – all major construction projects are required to achieve a BREEAM Excellent rating and as part of this assessment we must address the impact of construction on ecology and biodiversity. For the Student Centre and the New Academic Building projects the University has worked with ecologists, landscape architects and academics from SciTech to develop landscape proposals which enhance the ecological value of these sites. Examples of this include the provision of bird boxes and green roofs with sedum planting specifically selected to benefit local wildlife.
  • As part of the New Academic Building project the University will also be introducing local heathland planting on campus.
  • The development of an ‘Open Spaces Strategy’ which aims to improve the holistic quality of the external environment, including soft landscaping, street furniture and the use of space.
  • All works on campus are required to comply with BU’s environmental and biodiversity policies

The University will shortly be conducting a full ecological assessment of the estate and will produce a gap analysis of all ecological assessments previously carried out. Additional ecological assessments will then be carried out to develop a full picture of the whole estate.

A Biodiversity Action Plan will then be created with a view to enhancing biodiversity on campus, setting Key Performance Indicators, and creating a robust monitoring schedule.

For more information about biodiversity at BU please contact the Sustainability Team via sustainability@bournemouth.ac.uk or if you’d like to join the SUBU Green Taskforce e-mail SUPresident@bournemouth.ac.uk for more info.

BU retains Eco-Campus Gold Award

Bournemouth University (BU) has retained the EcoCampus Gold Award for its environmental management systems.

It is one of only 21 higher education institutions in the UK to achieve this award.

The recommendation for the award was made following a comprehensive on-site audit by the external auditors NQA, which included site inspections on both campuses, interviews with staff from across a range of functions, and a thorough review of procedures and documentation.

EcoCampus is a national environmental management system programme and award scheme for the further and higher education sector.

It encourages, rewards and provides universities with the tools necessary to assist them in moving towards environmental sustainability and good operational and risk management practices.

To successfully retain the Gold Award, BU had to prove it was operating in a sustainable manner in relation to a number of areas including; roles and responsibilities, environmental training, communication, documentation, operational control and emergency preparedness and response.

The university is also required to have an environmental programme in place, with initiatives underway to reduce its impact in a range of areas, including carbon and energy management, waste management, travel, sustainable procurement, water consumption, sustainable construction and biodiversity management.

Stephen Jones, Head of Facilities Management at BU, said: “We are delighted that the university’s continued commitment to manage and reduce our environmental impact has again been recognised through the Eco Campus System.

“It is important that the university takes this responsibility seriously and that we can demonstrate it openly across all areas of the institution.”

BU’s Environment & Energy Team will now begin work on implementing the requirements of the fourth and final stage, Platinum Award.