Biodiversity and Landscape Management

bird box and trees image

Our Landscape Management Plan is used to improve our management of the outside spaces on campus, including enhancing biodiversity and is submitted as part of our Green Flag Award application. 

We are currently working with our colleagues in Estates & Facilities to develop a 5-year Landscape Management Plan for 2020/21-2024/25.

Find out about our progress so far and some of our ongoing initiatives in the video and information below. 

 

A man doing a front flip in front of the Engels Beard sculpture

Green Flag Award

Group of Estates & Facilities staff stood with Green Flag

On July 16 2019, University of Salford was recognised by the Green Flag Award Scheme as one of the very best green spaces in the world.

The Green Flag judges described the University’s Peel Park and Frederick Road campuses as an impressive, diverse collection of sites with excellent facilities and features that complement each other well, including David Lewis Playing Fields and a selection of high-quality public art.

We raised our Green Flag outside of The Old Fire Station at our 2019 Sustainability Awards.

Find out more about our Green Flag Award on our blog.

Green Campus Group

We have established a Green Campus Group, which is open to staff, students and the local community. The purpose of the group is to share information and engage with the University community about the current and potential use of outside spaces on campus, including how they will and could be developed and enhanced. You can find out more in the Terms of Reference and join our Office 365 Teams group

In previous Green Campus Group meetings, we have asked for suggestions for improvements and asked participants to pick their top three suggestions, so that we can initially focus on taking these ideas forward.

  1. River Irwell clean up - There have been two river clean up events already on 18th April and 15th August 2019.
  2. Habitat/species surveys - We had worked with Peel Park to plan a Bioblitz event for March 2020. Unfortunately this was cancelled due to COVID-19, but we will run this when we can in the future.
  3. Community allotment – We have been successful in achieving funding from the Salford Advantage Fund to set up a community growing space. We held a focus group about the project and used the ideas raised to identify a suitable location and develop a design for the space, that is accessible and reuses materials. Work has started on the space but is currently on hold due to COVID-19.

Biodiversity on campus

Group of people with City of Trees banner

Biodiversity, or biological diversity, is the variety of life! This includes variety in habitats as well as diversity in species and the ecosystems in which they occur. Biodiversity is important because of the essential contribution that it makes to the functioning of our planet and because of all the benefits that it provides, from foods and medicine to climate regulation. Contact with biodiversity and the natural world has also been linked to improvements in health and emotional wellbeing.

Despite being just a mile and a half from the City of Manchester, the main site of the University of Salford is a leafy, riverside campus adjacent to Peel Park and the River Irwell. There are a large variety of trees on campus including Sycamore, Birch, Willow, Whitebeam, Cherry, Norway Maple, Oak, Hawthorn and London Plane.

The Grounds Maintenance Team prioritise native species for new planting and wildflower seeds are used instead of bedding plants in some areas. We have a two for one tree policy, which requires the planting of two trees for every one removed. Bird boxes are located on some trees across the Peel Park campus, including in the Clifford Whitworth Library courtyard, which also contains bug hotels.

Our 2020 Go Green Salford programme included events relating to biodiversity, including a winter tree identification walk, hedge-laying and tree planting sessions with City of Trees at David Lewis Playing Fields and Crescent Meadows (in total we planted over 600 tree whips!).

Biodiversity on our doorstep

Peel Park

There are lots of outside spaces on campus that you can use, such as the Mary Seacole garden and David Lewis Playing Fields, but we are also lucky to have Peel Park, the Crescent Meadows and the River Irwell on our doorstep. Find out about events and activities in Peel Park on their website, or follow them on Twitter.

The Kersal wetlands are also not too far from campus, a brilliant habitat for lots of wildlife, particularly birds. The wetlands are part of the Salford Flood Improvement Scheme and are built on the former University of Salford Castle Irwell sports campus. A land swap was carried out between the University and Salford City Council in 2016, with the University gaining David Lewis Playing Fields in exchange for Castle Irwell.  

If you are interested in helping to keep Salford clean and friendly for wildlife, we recommend getting involved with Salford Litter Heroes. You can find out about their upcoming litter picking events on their Twitter and Facebook pages.

Biodiversity records

A survey of habitat types was conducted in 2014 to produce a baseline of habitat areas using the Biodiversity Index, an online survey and calculation tool developed by University of Northampton. We have an excel sheet with a summary of our baseline and a report from a Biodiversity Student Placement.

We had planned to conduct a biodiversity survey of the campus in March 2020, working with Peel Park to run a BioBlitz event. Unfortunately, this was postponed due to COVID-19, but we will reschedule the event when possible.

If you see any wildlife on campus, please let us know! Email us with the following information:

  • Species name
  • Location spotted (if possible a grid reference would be useful or we recommend using the What3words app, which gives an accurate 3m square location)
  • Date and time spotted
  • Your contact details (optional)

Use these websites to help you correctly identify what you see:

Tree trail

A tree trail was developed for the University campus in 2011 by student Oliver Bishop and presented in his dissertation. The trail is now out of date due to changes to the campus, but we are currently working with Peel Park to create a new trail that incorporates the main campus, Peel Park, David Lewis Playing Fields and Crescent Meadows.