Many of us can go about our day either commuting to work, walking the dog, or popping to the shops without taking in the nature that surrounds us while doing these tasks. I can bet you that you can't remember the trees that you pass on those walks. Some of us are lucky enough to be surrounded by trees but many of us don't really give them that much thought.
We all know that trees are great for wildlife and for our health, but there's a lot more to those leafy giants than we think. Having trees in our urban areas even helps to combat climate change and reduce those scorching summer temperatures. Some trees are classed as ancient and have been here for over 400 years some even longer! Some have built resistance to wildfires and some we still use for medicine and our furnishings. All these characteristics are features of trees we have right here on campus.
If you've walked around our Colchester campus, you're likely to have spotted a few trees but did you know we have over 2,800 trees in total? This vast number includes several rare and veteran species including our oldest oak tree which comes in at over 400 years old.
Our Giant Redwood is not only one the world's largest tree species, it is known as the living fossil because its appearance has remained unchanged for over millions of years. If you find this giant tree on campus (It's not too hard to miss) make sure to feel it's bark. Unlike most trees its bark is soft and spongy which helps to protect them from wildfires that occur frequently in its home of California.
From roosting areas for pipistrelle bats to shelter for our deer and bunnies, the variety of our trees support a wide range of animals and helps increase our campus biodiversity. Thanks to the hard work of our Grounds team, our parkland is award winning having won the Green Flag Award for seven years running.
Our Grounds team are currently working with The Conservation Volunteers in Essex to contribute to local conservation efforts. The project involves creating a native tree nursery, seeds will be collected from Native Trees and planted in a nursery on Colchester Campus to be later used in Planting projects across the county.
If you would like to explore the trees on campus we have created a dedicated tree walk.
We have a dedicated team, in a broad range of roles, contributing to sustainable development across our campuses. We are committed to the promotion of sustainability to a variety of stakeholders, to conserve the local environment for our students, staff, the wider community and our resident wildlife.