The University owns and manages over 220 acres of land including 9,000 trees. This includes the Botanical Gardens at Oadby which have a rich variety of plantlife and also support a variety of birds and mammals. The University owns Blackthorn Manor, a local Site of Interest for Nature Conservation (SINC) in Oadby that has a biodiversity management plan in place. The plan requires a review and there are opportunities for volunteers to assist with active management of this area in collaboration with the Horticulture section of the Estates and Facilities Management Division. There are other significant opportunities for the University to work at improving the nature conservation value of its own land; for example, protecting a significant newt population at Fielding Johnson quad. There are opportunities to work in collaboration with staff and students from Geography and Biology and staff at the Botanic Gardens to monitor the ecological value of University land and propose management regimes for its enhancement.
Immediate objectives include to:
• Review Blackthorn Manor management plan (in conjunction with Oadby and Wigston Council) in 2010;
• Install peregrine boxes at the Attenborough Tower;
• Establish a University-wide Biodiversity group to develop and oversee management and review targets in 2010;
• Approach relevant departments to review options for using students, graduates, research projects or placement schemes to map conservation value of University land from 2010.