Our smallest and furry neighbours

Posted 7 months ago

Our campus sits nicely surrounded by nature

Which means… amazing walks and just nice safe spaces to relax and step out from our busy lives (check this out!). But it also means we need to expect some wanted (and some unwanted), some furry (some, less furry) friends and neighbours.  

None of us can go a day on campus without being graced by the presence of our university mascots, who come waddling through the hoards of students by the lake scavenging for food. While they stare you down to share your sandwich, did you know the ducks on campus already have someone who comes by daily to feed them? There are assigned university personnel, to feed them appropriate nutritious bird feed… not only is bread not healthy for our feathered friends, but we spoil them by sharing our lunches which means they're often too full to eat their actual meals which leaves their food up for grabs for our loveable but not exactly wanted neighbours, the squirrels.  

Not exactly wanted seems… harsh? Unfortunately, not really. The grey squirrels we see most frequently around campus are a largely overpopulated invasive species of squirrel. And no matter how cute they are, controlling their population is vital to maintaining the biodiversity or this locality as the increase in grey squirrel numbers is significantly decreasing the red squirrel population. Red squirrels are native to the UK and are currently under the protection of the Wildlife and Countryside Act. So no matter how many stare-downs, or cute brushy tails try to entice you, please don’t feed the squirrels!! 

Does anyone notice we don't have seagulls swooping in to steal our lunches this semester? This was ensured by the introduction of a new apex predator in the area, Harris the Hawk keeps seagulls off campus and has been doing so all summer. So if you see him around… admire that majestic saviour of our outdoor lunches. 

As the temperature dips, we start to feel a false sense of security… cold mean no bugs? Unfortunately, they don't disappear just reduce in numbers and those desperate to survive the cold will follow you indoors for warm. So if you want to avoid new flatmates, don't leave an enticing lunch (old soda cans, open alcohol bottles, unwashed dishes, rotting fruit, open food waste bins) lying around. Wasps often enter rooms smelling the sweet scent of your unwashed bottle/can/glass of a sugary drink. Even open gigantic bags of pasta or rice, and draw them indoors to a buffet of their dreams. Ensuring that most food in the cupboard that you expect to last you a long time is in closed containers helps avoid rodents and insects in your food storage areas. Also remember, when defrosting meat/ other food items at room temperature, make sure it is covered and not exposed.  

The notorious silverfish is the most intimidating-looking, harmless creature that seems to infiltrate campus pipelines. They love warm and damp places and if you do see one of these… they are quite nasty looking but they don’t do much so just let the campus services team know and don't worry too much!

If you think you have a problem report it quickly and they can have a look, and if needed call in our Campus specialist team.