The Biodiversity and Green Infrastructure workstream will oversee the production and delivery of a Biodiversity Plan for the University & monitor initiatives to promote biodiversity on the University’s estate.
The university’s main Whiteknights campus is set in 50 hectares of parkland which offers a superb mix of habitats for wildlife including formal gardens, managed hay meadows, woodland, wood pasture and a series of lakes. The University of Reading also owns and manages a community nature reserve at Langley Mead, 18 hectares of wildflower meadows adjacent to the River Loddon which support a significant number of rare plant species.
You can read a recent report on Langley Mead which discusses the outcomes of land management changes at the site, 5 years on.
An extension of Langley Mead will allow the University of Reading and EPR to further improve conditions for wildlife, with an emphasis on creating a highly connected, continuous habitat that brings traditional management practices back to the landscape. Initial works will involve translocating green hay from Langley Mead’s existing wildflower meadows, plant hedgerows, and create wetland features – vital for restoring and developing sustainable wildlife populations.
As well as providing additional quality greenspace for the benefit of the local community and wildlife, the approval of the SANG extension will guarantee the protection of the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area (SPA).
Green Festival Biodiversity Tour Whiteknights 2020
We have set three SMART targets over the 2020/21 year:
- By December 2021, we will seek to expand our knowledge of wildlife living on our Whiteknights campus, aiming to increase the number of species recorded to 2021.
- Over the 2020/21 academic year, we will introduce a species monitoring programme led by students to record plant diversity in our hay meadows at Whiteknights campus.
- Over the 2020/21 academic year we will seek to maintain current tree canopy cover at Whiteknights campus and where possible, increase tree canopy cover (excluding the meadow areas and restored grassland where tree cover is undesirable).
Check out the Biodiversity Blog to see what else is going on: https://blogs.reading.ac.uk/whiteknightsbiodiversity/