The institution has been recognised as one of the UK’s leading universities for looking after wildlife – on campus and in the wider community
A new study has revealed that Loughborough university is among the UK institutions doing the most to protect wildlife – meeting 100% of the ranking factors.
Loughborough university met the criteria for the ‘platinum tier’, with wildlife protection policies, partnerships or funding for local wildlife causes, biodiversity or wildlife activities on offer and regular wildlife surveys.
The study, led by wildlife care experts Ark Wildlife, surveyed all UK universities on their wildlife initiatives and support – on and off campus.
Loughborough university commits to promoting biodiversity on its grounds with its Biodiversity Action Plan and Woodland Management Plan. Plus, it has provided funding for the British Hedgehog Preservation Society and Barrow Hedgehog rescue.
The institution's contribution to local wildlife is also evident in the opportunities for staff and students to participate in wildlife activities, such as guided woodlands tours, fruit route harvest events and conservation volunteering opportunities.
How do other UK universities compare?
Almost a third (41 from 122) of the universities who responded scored top marks, by supporting wildlife with a number of active measures.
The majority (84%) of universities who responded are involved in at least one initiative for local wildlife, though there’s still plenty of room for improvement among UK universities.
The most commonly overlooked factor is biodiversity or wildlife activities for students: more than a quarter (35 from 122) of universities fail to offer these. Similarly, 31 universities have no policies in place for protecting wildlife, making animals on campus more vulnerable. 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, says:
“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.”