Biodiversity, or biological diversity, is a term used to describe the variety of life and its processes. This includes the sheer amount of species on earth and the communities and ecosystems where they occur.
The University of Exeter comprises an area of 153 hectares which includes a wide-range of different, rich habitats and provide a key link to other natural environments of importance in the Exeter area. The grounds are host to a wide variety of amphibians, birds, insects, mammals and reptiles, producing a diverse system of ecological niches, making this a fascinating place to study, work and visit.
The University manages the estate with this in mind and acknowledges that the campus contains a wide variety of habitats that are important to biodiversity. Some specific management examples include:
- Identification of specialist measures for vulnerable species such as protection around known badger sites
- Explanatory signs present near areas of diverse interest
- Promote the use of natural pesticides such as natural predators and bark mulch
- Stimulate natural habitats by leaving eco-corridors near streams and woodland edges
- Non-urgent tree felling works are undertaken outside of the bird nesting season and hedges thoroughly checked for nests
- Habitat piles left in appropriate areas to provide sources of food, shelter and hibernation sites
- Bird and bat boxes placed at suitable locations throughout the campus and are monitored annually
- Planting schemes will use a variety of plants, trees and shrubs, with varying flowering times to encourage year round wildlife activity