Late summer newsletter: nature trailers and surveyors wanted!

KU Biodiversity Action Group

Late summer newsletter

Hello Volunteers!

Well, what a summer we are having! The heatwave was a welcome contrast from the long winter and has initiated a growth spurt in our woodland areas. We will need to clear some of this overgrowth in a few weeks, see below for details. I hope you are all getting out there and enjoying all that nature has to offer at this time of year. Don't forget to keep an eye on the event listings on the biodiversity blog if you need some inspiration!

The summer is a good time to collect vital biodiversity data from our green spaces. I am pleased to report Pipistrelle bats are still roosting at Kingston Hill and there have been plenty of signs of badger and fox activity there too. We have also recorded our first eels of the season at the Hogsmill River as part of the ZSL eel monitoring programme. Have you seen any interesting wildlife activity on campus or around Kingston? You can contribute to valuable nationwide data collection by reporting your sightings online. For example, the Hawk Conservancy Trust are counting any kestrels you see and The Bat Conservation Trust will map any bats you spot. Don't forget to let me know too!

With the new term approaching, the University is gearing up for the year ahead and there'll be plenty of biodiversity activities to enjoy once more. The new programme can be viewed here, so start putting the dates in your diary and get yourself signed up.

Looking forward to seeing you all bronzed and refreshed soon!

Biodiversity and Landscape Administrator, Estates.

Nature trail maintenance

The summer growth has overwhelmed our nature trail in the Kingston Hill woodland and it is time to prepare it for use in the new term.

We'll be spending an afternoon cutting back the brambles, redefining the path edge and collecting litter, fancy joining us?

Wednesday 28 August, 2-4pm, Kingston Hill. All equipment will be provided.

Sign up now by emailing
Male Stag beetle. Photo courtesy of Mark Wagstaff.

Staggering times

Now is the time to witness our impressive Stag beetles as they go in search of mates and males perform courtship battles!  Due to its rarity across Western Europe, the stag beetle is now protected here in the UK, but we in Kingston are in a perfect location as the south east is a hot spot for this creature. Most of its life cycle is spent as a larvae underground eating decaying wood, which is why leaving deadwood in your garden is so vital.

If you spot what you think is a stag beetle, identification help can be found online here and the People's Trust for Endangered Species would love to hear about your sighting.

Happy bug hunting!

Are you survey savvy?

You still have a chance to get involved in surveying across our campuses. Help is needed to collect data on trees, wildflowers, small mammals and habitat diversity so get in touch if you're interested! No experience necessary.

Throughout August and September, various campuses.

For more info email
Peacock butterfly on buddleja flower

Butterfly bonanza!

The hot weather is a dream for butterflies as it provides ideal conditions to emerge, mate and lay eggs. It will be a welcome boost as 72% of UK species have suffered huge declines in the last decade or so.

You can do your bit to help by getting involved in the Big Butterfly count taking place all over the country until 11 August.

Its easy - sign up online, spend 15 minutes spotting butterflies then submit your sightings.

What is the Biodiversity Action Group?

The Kingston University Biodiversity Action Group works within the KU campuses and local area with the aim of improving green spaces for both wildlife and people.

We undertake practical conservation projects that aim to protect, enhance and create habitats for wildlife.

This newsletter is intended to update you on our recent and forthcoming conservation events and activities. It is sent out monthly by Rachel Burgess, Biodiversity and Landscape Administrator, Estates.

Biodiversity event blog

Read all about the past biodiversity events on the KU Biodiversity Action Group blog.

If you've ever been along to one of the events, see if you can spot a photo of yourself hard at work!
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