The University of Salford’s Wildlife Society (USWS) has accomplished tremendous achievements in the past 6 months. As chairperson, Lauren (known to all as Lori) has been the driving factor behind this success.
Lori is always eager to seek opportunities to help communities, especially in an environmentally-orientated manner. This is important to her as it supports existing community work, as well as helping to proliferate environmental messages and actions. Through her networking and determination, the society became involved with creating a robust and dry path from a school to a woodland. This enabled children to have safe and easy access to a natural area, providing the opportunity to enjoy and learn from the environment. We hope it will inspire the love of the outdoors in the students.
Instigating an interest and passion in nature is a phenomenal way for people to want to take care of the planet. Lori therefore put a lot of effort into organising a huge range of specialist talks and speakers to deliver presentations for students. This includes topics such as habitat conservation and restoration, the threat to red squirrels, as well as the ecology of bats, badgers and birds. In understanding more about the natural world and its trajectory, Lori hopes that the students can contribute to its future protection. For this goal also, she plans for the society to take part in citizen science in the future, to be equipped with the skills needed by conservation scientists.
Animals have such a huge role in the quality and health of the environment. It is therefore necessary that a great deal of her time is dedicated to their protection. For example, nesting sites for birds are critical to survival, yet holes in trees are not always available in woodlands. Lori is spearheading a project for the wildlife society to build nest boxes and have them implemented around the university grounds and nearby parks. Working alongside the Green Impact project team, this aims to allow bird populations to prosper as they have done in the past. Moreover, the USWS tree planting volunteering task created hedges to act as commuter routes for bats, vital for the effective navigation around their habitats.
Bees are known to be on huge population declines due to agricultural practices removing flowers. Lori is determined to establish conservation efforts into the society and USWS are consequently part of a local community bee keeping group. In doing so, they provide a safe environment for bee colonies to flourish. This will enable their populations to grow and in turn benefit the local flora.
Members in the USWS are united by a respect of the environment. Lori works hard to put this passion to valuable use by organising volunteering events for the society. As a result, they undertook a large habitat management task in conjunction with local organisations. This incorporated invasive species removal of rhododendrons, allowing space for the native trees to grow and for sunlight to reach the floor for ground flora. They translocated tree saplings, as well as created wildlife piles for small mammals and invertebrates to reside in. This all contributes to a thriving ecosystem, driven by Lori’s dedication to create a team to protect the environment.