Our Grounds team maintains Wivenhoe Park, home to our Colchester Campus, along with our Loughton and Southend campuses. They strive to provide an attractive, clean and interesting setting with a sound, conservation-minded attitude to campus flora and fauna.

Sustainability is a core priority for the University and our Grounds team has focused on reducing chemical fertilisers, introducing new wildlife areas and installing a wide range of bird boxes, with much more to come in the future.

As part of the climate and ecological emergency declaration and new Sustainability Sub-Strategy (.pdf), our Grounds team are now using 95% electric hand tools. They are already using hedge cutters, leaf blowers, strimmers and pedestrian mowers. They have a future plan to extend to All Terrain Vehicles and tractors.

Electric tools have great benefits for the environment. They have lower emissions, are quieter and require less routine maintenance. Being quieter they allow the team to work around the buildings without creating noise, and also to minimise disturbing wildlife. Noise can affect the ways animals communicate, mate, navigate, and their foraging habits. Even plants can be affected – for example if pollinators move away because of noise disturbance.

Changing over from petrol powered tools to electric helps reduce our carbon emissions, contributing to our ambition to achieve net zero carbon emission by 2035.

You can read our priorities for addressing the climate and ecological emergency on our website.