Eaton & Cringleford

UEA tops the table for wildlife care

Just Regional
Mar 29, 2023 2 mins read

The University of East Anglia has topped the UK league table for wildlife care, according to a new study.

Carried out by wildlife care experts Ark Wildlife, it looked at how animals, birds and plants were helped and protected, with the UEA meeting the criteria for the “platinum tier”.

This recognised its wildlife protection policies, partnerships and funding for local wildlife causes, biodiversity and wildlife activities on offer to staff and students.

All 130 UK universities were surveyed (with 122 replying), and attention was paid to activities both on and off campus.

The UEA was praised for its commitment to promoting biodiversity with its Green Infrastructure Strategy and its partnerships across the region, including with The Norfolk Rivers Trust, Friends of Strawberry Fields and Norwich Fringe Project.

Its contribution to local wildlife was also evident in the opportunities for staff and students to participate in wildlife activities, such as signposted walks around the UEA broad and periodic wellbeing walks to show off some of its lesser-known areas of wildlife.

The UEA Broad

It also has a student-led conservation and wildlife society, which enhances biodiversity on campus.

Almost a third of the universities who responded scored top marks, supporting wildlife with a number of active measures and the majority are involved in at least one initiative for local wildlife, though Ark said there was still plenty of room for improvement.

The most commonly overlooked factor is biodiversity or wildlife activities for students, with more than a quarter of universities failing to offer these.

Similarly, 31 universities have no policies in place for protecting wildlife – making animals on campus more vulnerable. Ark said the findings highlight the gap among UK universities and will lead to calls for higher standards of wildlife support and protection.

Sean McMenemy, director at Ark Wildlife, said: “It’s clear that some universities are taking wildlife conservation extremely seriously, and it’s great to see. They’re really in tune with the local environment, providing invaluable habitats to animals in the area.

“Importantly, the most wildlife-friendly universities are actively encouraging students to become involved. This will breed greater awareness of conservation methods and just how vital wildlife is to the UK. Hopefully, it’ll also instil a lifelong love of animals and the environment in their graduates.”

Click here to read the full survey.

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