Aston Campus Wildlife Group was started by a group of enthusiasts, founded by ex-employee Carolyn Taylor in 2009, to protect the wildlife on and around our campus. The group now has over 100 members, including staff and students from all around the University and they have already been involved in a number of projects on campus.
If you would like to get involved or become a member of the group please contact Denise Jackson firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also join our Facebook group page.
This year's kestrel chicks were ringed on 30 May at 2.5 weeks old. All 5 chicks were healthy and were ringed without any difficulties.
After fledging, one of our kestrels was seen sitting on top of the glass roof of the reception area. He had fledged a little too soon but after a few days found his wings. Another great year for our kestrels!
The group were lucky enough to have a tour of the Biodiverse roofs at the Birmingham City Council building on Woodcock Street.
The tour was headed by Nicola Farrin, Birmingham City Council Ecologist, who offered to arrange this for us as part of our recent group research and general interest in the idea of “corridors” of biodiverse roofs dotted across the city to enhance and attract a wide range of wildlife, as indeed our own biodiverse roof on Phase II ASV will hopefully achieve.
Our wildlife sign was installed at the lake during July 2013. This was paid for by the money we won for the Excellence Award in Contribution to Sustainable Campus 2012. Our thanks go to the following people, without whose help this would not of been possible: Alan Charters, Mark Sutton, David Taylor, Andrew Blake, Mark Bartlett, Dave Gwynne and Lynnette Jones.
To celebrate the sign, members of ACWG had a lakeside picnic with a couple of bottles of fizz!
With some of the money we won for the Excellence Award in Contribution to Sustainable Campus 2012, and a contribution from the Environment & Sustainability team, we purchased several marginal and aquatic plant species for the lake. These include giant dock, ragged robin and yellow flag iris. A well armed work party of group members planted these (with the kind help of the Gardening Team) and all plants look to be doing well. Our lake is looking glorious!
You may find the following sites interesting/useful - if you have other sites you would like adding to this list, please email Denise Jackson. Please note that Aston University is not responsible for the content of external websites.
General Wildlife Information
Wildlife ReportingWildlife Surveys
Birmingham and Black Country Wildlife Trust
Help protect our wildlife by reporting sightings – this is a quick, easy action we can all do to protect our local biodiversity. Without this information we are unable to know if a species is in decline in any given area, and take steps to prevent this. Local wildlife sightings are taken into account when planning for new developments.
Moths and Butterflies
Take part in a short wildlife survey in your area and add to the national picture.
If you can't find the answer you are looking for here, please email Denise Jackson or Carolyn Taylor.
Please note that members of ACWG are not experts and cannot provide treatment to sick/injured animals. You can, however, contact us for advice.
The following guidance is taken from the RSPCA website and copied here for convenience – the majority of distress calls ACWG get concerns birds on campus.
Caution:- Handling of any animal either domestic, wild, dead or alive may be potentially hazardous. Obvious dangers include bites, scratches and general hygiene issues. Common sense should be applied in all instances and if unsure seek additional advice or assistance. Personal hygiene should be taken into consideration after handling any animal whether it is domestic, wild, dead or alive.
If a young bird has been found on the ground during the spring and summer season, then it may well be a fledgling that has just left the nest and is still learning to fly. If you think the bird may be a fledgling, then please refer to our fledgling information below.
An injured bird will need veterinary assistance and then care by an experienced bird rehabilitator who will prepare it for release. Therefore, if the injured bird has already been contained in a closed, well-ventilated box it should, if possible, be taken directly to a local veterinary surgery for assessment and treatment, if necessary. Placing the bird into a darkened box will help to reduce stress and the risk of further injury. If that is not possible, contact the RSPCA 24-hour cruelty and advice line 0300 1234 999 to get more advice.
Caring for any sick or injured animal involves considerable time, expertise and patience to give it the best chance of release and subsequent survival back in the wild. It is an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981 to take a wild bird into captivity, with a few exceptions, such as when the intention is to temporarily care for a sick or injured bird until it is fit for release.
These are baby birds that only have a limited number of feathers. They are different from fledglings in that they are totally dependent on the security of the nest and will not fare at all well if left. If a nestling is found, contain it as soon as possible in a warm, dark, well-ventilated cardboard box (do not offer water, milk or food). If the bird is sick, take it to your nearest veterinary surgeon (call the number below if out of hours). Otherwise, take the bird directly to a reputable wildlife rehabilitation centre or contact the RSPCA’s 24-hour cruelty and advice line 0300 1234 999. Never try to return nestlings to their nests as this may disturb the other babies and may also be illegal. Never try to rear nestlings yourself, as they need specialist care if they are to survive.