Sussex Estates and Facilities

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New wildflowers now blooming on campus

There’s a new area of wildflower planting near the Fulton teaching building.

The grounds team have reduced the frequency of mowing in certain areas of campus.

While many campus areas are encouraged to remain ‘wild’, each section needs to be managed differently. The lawns have been mown as usual.

As springtime turns to summer, hundreds of students still living on campus during the coronavirus pandemic have been enjoying splashes of colour provided by wildflowers.

And while many parts of campus are beautiful to look at, some also provide extra forage for the local wildlife.

A number of colourful and nectar-rich wildflower areas – including those by ACCA and the subway under the A27 – attract a diverse range of bees and other insects.

And in response to feedback from students who asked for more wildflower beds, there’s a new area of planting near the Fulton teaching building, at the junction of Refectory Road and Arts Road. Sown in late March with a special seed mix that contains around 40 species, this site has now come into bloom and is providing pollen and nectar for bees and butterflies.

The wildflower beds by Sussex House, Chichester building, Meeting House and Arts Plaza were seeded in late May as normal, and - depending on weather conditions - will be in flower for late to early July.

Some of the existing wildflower beds have been cleared and re-seeded, as the species were either non-perennial or had reached the end of their natural lifecycle.

As well as planting and maintaining the wildflower beds, the Grounds Maintenance team in Sussex Estates and Facilities (SEF) work all year round on other measures to enhance and protect biodiversity on campus, including planting native species.

In addition, the team have reduced the frequency of mowing in certain areas; this allows naturally occurring wildflowers to bloom, which then creates extra nectar and pollen for flower-visiting insects. 

While many campus areas are encouraged to remain ‘wild’, each section needs to be managed differently. As a result, the lawns have been mown as usual, so that the students still living on campus have been able to relax outside in the spring sunshine. After the sunniest month of May since records began, the grounds team expect a flush of new growth on these grassy areas if the forecast rain arrives.

Scott Noble, Head of Service Delivery in Estates and Facilities Management, says: “In the Estates team we believe Sussex has a unique setting that no other university in Britain can boast. So we want our natural environment to be brilliant for people, birds and insects alike.

“We’ve created a mosaic of habitats and we actively encourage the wonderful green spaces on campus to flourish: not only with wildflower meadows, but also ancient and rare trees, insect houses, hedgerow habitats for birds, and foraging grounds for mammals, pond-life species and other living organisms.”

For more information on wildflower gardens and groundskeeping at Sussex, visit the SEF website.

 

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Posted on behalf of: Estates team
Last updated: Friday, 5 June 2020

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