May is for wild flowers and hedgehogs

May 2nd, 2024

This year the university is once again leaving some of our green spaces to grow wild as part of No Mow May.

Nature charity Plantlife run the annual No Mow May movement, asking everyone to lock away lawn mowers and leave gardens and parks to bloom and go wild for a month. The grounds team are supporting this biodiversity initiative across all our UK campuses.

The loss of flower meadows in the UK over the past 90 years has led to a steep decline in bees and other pollinating insects. Gardens and green spaces have hence become an increasingly important habitat, especially when areas are left undisturbed.

As well as providing a feast for pollinators, this also helps tackle pollution, reduces urban heat extremes, and locks away atmospheric carbon below ground.

Our campuses offer a rich mosaic of habitats to local wildlife. And when grass is mown less, the more pollinators will make a home and support the broader ecosystems.

New wild spaces have also been created for No Mow May, and if you are out and about on campus you may spot signs of some of them. This includes:

  • On grounds adjacent to the Downs (a Local Wildlife Site) and along the northern boundary of campus between the A52 and Derby Hall
  • On Jubilee, there are new No Mow areas outside Melton Hall, and near to the tennis courts. Additional spaces have also been sown with wildflower seed, including a grassed spaces within Newark Hall which is part in a wildflower experiment
  • There are numerous wild pockets on Sutton Bonington and at Highfields Sports Ground that are deliberately being left unmown
  • At Riverside Sports Complex, as part of an ongoing biodiversity project with funding from Severn Trent Water, spaces alongside the sports pitches, where new native hedgerow are being planted, are also being left for the benefit of wildlife

More widely, the university is committed to reducing the frequency of mowing, and in some areas it has stopped completely.

Edges and margins are increasingly being widened and left to grow wilder.

Find out how to #nomowmay at home with help and resources on the Plantlife website.

Hedgehog Awareness Week (5-11 May)

Hedgehog Awareness Week highlights the problems hedgehogs face and how you can help them. Over the last 20 years, hedgehog numbers in rural areas have plummeted.

In response, passionate members of the university formed the UoN Hedgehog Friendly Campus Group. They raise awareness of the plight of the hedgehog and take action across our campuses.

6pm, Thursday 9 May 2024

Learn how to track hedgehog activity on campus, at home, or in your local community with a footprint tunnel workshop from the Hedgehog Friendly Campus Group.

Meet at the Djalongly Terrace (top of the steps outside the Portland building), UP.

Go! Wild

There is no shortage of ways to get involved and help wildlife both on and off campus this Spring.

  • Find out about and take part in hands-on nature related activities at UoN. Conservation sessions happen on Wednesdays and include plant and hedgehog surveying as part of the above initiatives.
  • Log your wildlife friendly actions on Green Rewards to earn points and win prizes. Join us in creating a thriving place for nature and wildlife with the Green Rewards Nature Nurturers Earn points with four new challenge activities until 30 June.

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