Sharing sustainability stories and news from Wrexham Glyndwr University
Northop Campus Bioblitz records 284 different species – so far!
A day dedicated to recording the vast diversity of species on the university’s Northop campus has turned up more than 284 separate species already.
During the day – known as a Bioblitz – the campus opened its doors so that a range of species experts – alongside members of the public, Glyndwr students, and staff – could find and record the vast range of species the campus holds.
Carl Payne, site services assistant at Glyndwr’s Northop Campus, said: “We were delighted to welcome more than 150 members of the public , as well as a host of expert recorders and a range of wildlife and nature organisations, to our Northop Campus for its first Bioblitz.
“Working alongside our partners in Flintshire County Council’s Access and Environment department and environmental recorders Cofnod, we conducted a full survey of the site and made some really interesting discoveries – including at least one first for Flintshire.
“There were more than 150 records made on the day and 120 separate species found – and that number has grown significantly as species discovered on the day are analysed!
“Everyone who came down on the day has helped to develop our understanding of what is a very special site – and I’d like to thank everyone for taking part on the day, as well as the behind-the scenes team – particularly Glyndwr Facilities Manager Dennis Powell and our the students on all of our courses here at Northop who lent their time during the day.”
Richard Gallon, recording specialist for Cofnod, added: “An impressive list of invertebrates was made on the day, including a fabulous black Sexton Beetle. The jumping spider Sitticus pubescens was also new to the site, and is only the second record of this species from Flintshire. Another interesting find was Micaria pulicaria, a small spider which mimics an ant to avoid being eaten by predators.”
The full list of species which have been found so far can be seen on Cofnod’s site at this link.Read more
New Recycling Points Around Campus
Dennis Powell – Facilities Manager has been working hard on a sustainability project driven by WGU’s Sustainability Action Working Group to improve the universities recycling.
The plan is to phase out single bins and replace them with main recycling stations where you will be able to dispose of any type of waste in the correct bin at any one station. The aim is to make it as easy as possible for Students and Staff to make the right choice and recycle.
At each station you will find:
Food Waste – Cooked and Raw foods, Napkins, paper plates, peelings, coffee grinds and teabags
Mixed Recycling – Drink cans, cartons and plastic bottles, newspaper, cardboard and plastic packaging
Glass Recycling – Glass bottles and jars
General Waste – Anything that does not belong in the above bins e.g HOT DRINK PAPER CUPS, crisp and chocolate bar wrappers
Stations are already in place at Wrexham Main reception, Corridor A, Edward Clwyd Centre and Northop campus with more scheduled for this year.
We have already made a huge change with Veolia who now send our waste to a picking station when previously it was being sent to landfill. As you can imagine this has been a massive step towards reducing the universities environmental impact.
It is so important to protect our environment, please get involved by making yourself aware of what waste goes where and keep an eye out for new stations popping up around campus.
#greenglyndwrRead more on WGU's recycling
Wrexham Glyndwr University Reusable Cups Campaign
Wrexham Glyndwr University in partnership with Aramark Ltd has introduced a 20p surcharge to all hot beverages served in disposable cups across its campuses – waived if you bring your own cup.
The idea behind introducing the 20p penalty for disposable cups is to encourage staff, students and visitors to adopt a more sustainable approach to waste management, reduce the amount of waste going to landfill and to cut the amount of money the University has to spend on waste management so that funds can be invested into other resources instead.
Wrexham Glyndwr University Director of Operations, Lynda Powell said: “We’re encouraging all customers of our hot drink outlets to help us reduce and eventually prevent the amount of waste going to landfill by bringing their own reusable cup. Reusable cups are also available for purchase for £1 at all of our cafes.
Paul Barton, Aramark’s Catering manager said “The 20p surcharge will be added at the cash register and at the end of each term, the surplus money raised will be used to support green initiatives at the university. The decision on what to spend the money on will be put to a vote for staff and students to choose what happens.”
Since introducing the 20p penalty at the start of term in September, almost 5,000 fewer disposable cups have been sent to landfill – 27% of total sales. This is a very encouraging start and Wrexham Glyndwr’s long-term goal is to stop using disposable cups altogether.Find more campaigns here
Green Champions Walk
Last week’s Green Champion walk, theme ‘Collect Colours’, took place on Wednesday, October 17. With the seasons changing, this enjoyable half hour enabled Fiona and Molly to lead the walk and for all attending to appreciate the changing colours that autumn brings. Check out our youngest new recruit Charlie (on his 1st Birthday) and dad Dan!Become a Green Champion here
On Monday 5th November an industrial shredder was at Regent St & Plas Coch on Monday and over four tonnes of data was shredded and will now be recycled.
That’s the equivalent in weight to…………
- 660 average sized pumpkins
- 1 African elephant
- 8 grand pianos
Recycling Print Paper Boxes
Thank you to everyone’s efforts in collecting your printer paper boxes. These boxes have been donated to Wrexham Food Bank to be used to make one person Christmas hampers. As was seen in the local news last week, Wrexham Food Bank has seen a large increase in users this year.
To donate food the warehouse at Dean Road is open Tuesday and Friday between 10am and 3pm or you can donate in collections bins at Wrexham Tesco Extra, Sainsburys Wrexham or Cefn Mawr Tesco Superstore.Keep an eye on sustainable events here
Green Champion Walks
The Green Champion walks have been successfully held for the past few months and luckily every time we've had the weather on our side. August's walk, ‘Coin Flip Junction’ route was determined by a coin toss at every intersection. The group enjoyed a half hour walk from the quad, around the main building, towards Techniquest and behind Crispin Lane. For some of the group it was a chance to see parts of the university they had never seen despite working at here for many years.
The October walk themed ‘Collect Colours’ was . With the seasons changing, this enjoyable half hour enabled Fiona and Molly to lead the walk and for all attending to appreciate the changing colours that autumn brings. The group identified some Arbutus unedo also known as irish strawberries growing within the university.
November's walk will be themed 'A listening walk' where Simon Brown of Techniquest will lead us to the Techniquest garden and has very kindly offered to share some infomation. This walk will take place Wednesday 14th November, 12.30 until 13.00, all staff and students are welcome.For more infomation about Green Champions click here.
After visiting the Northop Campus for Green Champion training earlier in the year, some of the estates team were inspired to grow their own herbs and vegetables in the office. Molly Edwards, Estates Administration Assistant said; 'We received some excellent training from the ladies of Plas Derw which was very thought provoking. They kindly shared some seeds with us which have been planted in the office'. As the plants grew too big for the trays in August, they were shared out amongst staff to put in their gardens. As you can see from the image, Nicola Edwards, Estates and Contracts Administrator was very successful with her spring onions.Find out more about our Green Champions
Aramark Goes Green
The university’s catering contractor is supporting our aim to reduce waste at the university. Due to the way takeaway coffee cups are produced they are not an easy cup to recycle so, Aramark agreed to help out. The new initiative agreed by Sustainability Action Working Group and the Students Union has introduced an increase in coffee prices, this is charged if you use a takeaway cup. However, turn up with a nice clean cup of your own and you won’t be charged the extra 20p. Aramark also provides reusable cups for £1. After 5 purchases of a coffee, you will recoup your £1 and help to reduce the use of takeaway cups.Have a look at WGU's Sustainable, Healthy Food Policy
Updates to the Quad
The Sustainability Action Working Group have been making improvements to the quad. We’ve seen the addition of four new benches which are made from recycled plastic and offer a more sustainable option of seating.
After attending Green Champion training in July and learning about the importance of taking some time to be restful and rejuvenate, the Sustainability Action Working Group also wanted to provide the University with alternative ways to relax.
In summer we also sad the arrival of three hammocks in the quad, a favourite from the training day which was aptly name 'Siesta Circle'. Estates and Contracts Administrator Nicola Edwards said: "The new benches and hammocks are a welcome addition to the quad, alongside the flowers planted by the Green Champions it’s a delight to see these positive improvements."
Recycling at WGU
WGU has been working hard to reduce the amount of waste we send to landfill. By working closely with Veolia our Facilities Manager and Estates Department are now proud to announce that almost 100% of our waste is recycled in some form. Part of this inactive was the investment in new recycling points and in the coming month, you will see these new recycling points around campuses. They will be clearly labelled to identify the type of waste we can recycle.
Do you have glass waste? A new glass waste bin can be found on the Wrexham Campus by the student’s union adding more to our other campuses where required.Take a look at WGU Recycling
Education for Sustainable Development
Dr Colin Stuhlfelder provided a fantastic, informative and engaging lecture at the recent Staff Conference. Staff from across academic and professional areas attended the hour session to learn about how to embed sustainability into the curriculum and how to get students thinking about current political, legal and financial issues and question whether they are right or wrong. Colin’s use of humour and the types of referencing that students have available at their fingertips was really interesting. Huge thanks to Colin, for delivering this session.Read more on WGU ESD
Student and Staff Collaborate in Energy Use and Management at WGU
An Exciting new project led by Loide da Silva, 3rd year student on the Renewable energy degree is currently being undertaken this year. Loide will be working with WGU's Energy team regarding reducing carbon, energy usage and cost. Loide said,
"I am really interested in the way the university uses energy and can see positive ways to improve on the universities current operational uses of buildings”.
Loide will use the engineering block as an example in her research with a view to replicating across all university sites. Loide has access to the Universities energy monitoring systems and is investigating where there are spikes in energy data.
Claire Doran commented
"Sustainability Action Working Group member said “Loide’s enthusiasm to use her skills and knowledge learnt on her degree to help benefit the university is infectious. I'm sure I will learn from her as much as she learns from us”.
WGU students from September 2019 who are completing dissertations will be able to access funding from the Sustainability Action Working Group. The funding will be provided to assist students with equipment or resources required to carry out their research. All applications will be considered by the Sustainability Action Working Group and the project must be of an environmental and sustainable benefit to the university.
To apply visit https://wgsu.typeform.com/to/DPrYzATo find out more about the Living Lab project
Back from the Brink
Rare beetle declared extinct thriving at the Northop campus.
In 1994 the Alder Leaf beetle Agelastica alni was declared extinct according to the Natural History Museum. Previous records were immigrant or temporary native, recorded in the New Forest in 1943.
Between 2004 and 2016 there were a few recordings which prompted the IUCN to renew the status of the beetle on the Red Data List as very rare in Britain – ‘insufficiently known’. A specimen was found in Wales by the locally known entomologist Brian Formstone, near Buckley 2014. The latest data from the National Bio-diversity Network database show seven recordings in Wales with only two confirmed.
Having finished one of several baseline surveys on behalf of the WGU to assess the Flora and Fauna in the area Carl Payne was packing away his equipment in his car when he noticed a beetle on the Alder at the rear of the car park, on inspection he found a female of the species eggs and larvae.
When asked about the beetle later, Carl said that he recognised the family of beetles Chrysomelidae, Leaf Beetles by the shape having recorded Dock leaf beetles earlier that day but could not find this species in any of his books so took several photos to identify it later rather than taking a specimen.
Carl was able to find similar pictures on the internet via google, many of them from European sites. Pictures were sent to Cofnod, the biological recording centre for North Wales where it was confirmed the beetle was Agelastica alni the Alder Leaf Beetle. ‘I wasn’t expecting something quite so rare to be found on the fringes of the car park particularly as when it was first seen it was through my car windscreen as I was just about to leave, I could have easily missed it’.
There are now 8 recordings in Wales with 3 confirmed.
All photographs reproduced with permission from Carl Payne.View the latest WGU Northop species list 2018 click here
WGSU Awarded Excellent for Green Impact
Green Impact empowers individuals and departments to reduce their environmental impact by encouraging, rewarding and celebrating environmental improvements. Green Impact challenges the university to implement a number of easy, practical actions that will help the environment.
Wrexham Glyndwr University’s Students Union take part each academic year. Last year they received a Good and this year we are delighted to announce they have been awarded an Excellent scoring 315 out of 500. What a fantastic team effort with a special mention to WGSU's Sustainability Officer Maryam Riscalla for her drive and passion for the green agenda.
Take a look at the report WGSU Green Impact Report 2018Take a look at green societies
Newton's Apple Seeds Take Root in Wrexham
Seeds from a historically significant fruit tree have taken root in Wrexham.
Three apple seedlings grown from apple pips from the very apple tree that inspired Newton’s theory of gravity were presented to Techniquest Glyndwr by National Trust Erddig.
The seedlings were offspring from the apple tree that first took root around 400 years ago of the variety ‘Flower of Kent’.
National Trust Erddig has become famed for its large collection of apple trees and aptly, in the grounds of this stately home there is a fruit tree that has been propagated from the original over in Cambridgeshire.Find out more about the science garden
Ground Works hold a session for Green Champions
Ground Works held an energy training session for WGU Green Champions. The training looked at ways of saving energy in the home and could also be adopted in the workplace.
Making the Green Champions question their home energy providers, what to look for in a green energy provider, how to look for the best deal, variable against fixed deal rates.
Groundwork gave advice on how to conserve energy and tips on changing our behaviour.
We looked at energy saving bulbs, chimney balloons for open fires and smart sockets which switched off several appliances and they also talk through the pros and cons of smart meters.
Become a Green Champion here
Northop Casual Revamps Main Entrance Beds
Northop’s new casual has made a great start on brightening up the flower beds at Northop campus. Kim Johnson volunteered her time and effort to inspire staff to donate a whole range of plants including rosemary, lavender, geraniums and begonias. She chose to completely revamp the bed outside the main entrance to Corbishley Hall accommodation in Northop. Kim commented saying: “I hope to inspire the students when they return to leave their mark here at Northop to start an edible garden that students and residents will be able to utilise.”Get involved here
WGSU Awards - Sustainability
Fantastic to see sustainability playing a big part at the SU awards on Tuesday night. Two awards for sustainability champion of the year for dedicating their time to championing the importance of sustainability on campuses and in the wider community were scooped by Maryam Riscalla – final year Psychology student and Pip Francis – Northop site services assistant. The Sustainability & Fairtrade Society took the Contribution and Collaboration award for their role in assisting the university in gaining Fairtrade accreditation and continuing to collaborate with green organisations and raise awareness of sustainability throughout the year.Become part of WGU's green community
Crispin Lane Clean up 2018
Staff and students joined in with a clean-up of Crispin Lane, along with Wrexham county councillor for Grosvenor ward Marc Jones and members of the local community.
Director of Operations Lynda Powell, who led the University Clean Up Team, said: “Wrexham Glyndŵr University has a commitment to understanding and managing its impact on the environment. We have dedicated ‘green champions’ who work to make everyone at the university more environmentally aware. We were delighted to rise 49 places in the People and Planet University League 2017, moving from 132nd to 83rd.
“It’s good to apply those principles to our immediate area – and it was nice to give Crispin Lane a bit of a spring clean."
WGU to Phase Out Single Use Plastic Cups
With the drive to cut down on single-use plastic and use more environmentally friendly products gaining a huge amount of momentum, we will be phasing out the use of single plastic cups that are currently provided for the various water coolers on site.
This is in line with the good practice that has already been implemented in the Student Union lounge and at our Northop Campus. Colleagues will be encouraged to supply their own drinking vessel for water from August 1 onwards.
Plastic Free Wrexham
WGU, WGSU and Wrexham Councillor Marc Jones have taken the first step in the fight against single use plastics in Wrexham. Along with a group of passionate and driven people, together they are working through an action plan, guided by Surfers Against Sewage. The campaign, Plastic Free Wrexham. The plan, Refuse, Reuse and Recycle.Keep up to date with the campaign
WGU VC Leads Go Green Bike Ride
Staff and students demonstrated our commitment to the environment and their health by getting on their bikes.
Staff, students’ union representatives and students got together for a lunchtime cycle ride to mark Go Green and Fairtrade Fortnight.
Leading the bike ride were vice-chancellor Maria Hinfelaar and event organiser Claire Doran. “We’re promoting healthy living and the importance of getting out at lunchtime for a quick cycle" - Professor Maria Hinfelaar.
Lighting up at Plas Coch – December 2017
With the dark nights now upon us, what better time to upgrade our outside lights at Plas Coch?
You have probably noticed an increase in the external light levels when walking around the site late afternoon /early evening. Several areas have been tackled so far in Stage One of the Lighting Project owned by the Carbon Management Team.
New lamps have been installed in the Student Guild area, the main walk way between Engineering and ‘D’ Block buildings and the Quadrangle/ United Kitchen areas. Other areas include the Health Centre and ‘A’ block building, facing the Stadium. So far just under 60 lamp fittings, a mixture of SOX and SON, high and low pressure sodium discharge lamps, have been replaced with more energy efficient LED lamps.
The new LED lighting fittings have a light spectrum which is a vast improvement in comparison to the previous discharge lamps. They also have a life span of about 50,000 hours, with a very slow decay.
In certain areas within Plas Coch we looked to increase light levels with higher wattage LED floodlights and in other areas we looked to maintain the light levels, installing more efficient lamps to provide comparable light output at a reduced wattage. This has ensured the lighting system serves the design goals of the space in each specific place, bearing in mind both the needs of highly pedestrianised areas and high traffic usage areas.
We are also controlling our energy usage for external lighting further with our energy management software systems, photocells (light sensors) and time clocks. This way we are able to control the hours the lighting system is used, eliminating waste and reducing energy usage.
Significant operating cost savings of £1500 per annum will result in our ability to pay for the £5k investment, calculating at just under 3.5 years payback. Our consumption savings from Stage One will total over 11,000kwh, which equates to almost 4 ton of C02. Excellent results!
Stage Two is now in planning for Crispin Lane along with other areas of priority and will be rolled out shortly.
If you have any questions or suggestions on this article or anything energy related, please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.orgMore Carbon reduction projects
Wrexham Glyndwr University soared almost 50 places up the rankings of a prestigious green league table.
The institution rose from 132 to 83rd in the People and Planet University League 2017, scoring highly for sustainable food, and engagement and education.
There were also reductions in the use of carbon, water and energy sources, as well as a 75% rise in the number of ‘green champions’ – or sustainable staff.
The increase comes after the University unveiled its Campus 2025 vision for an overhaul of the Wrexham campus, to include new student accommodation, car parking, upgraded academic and research rooms and transfiguration of buildings, including the main entrance.
Lynda Powell, Director of Operations at Wrexham Glyndwr University, said: “This is a fantastic achievement and shows the University’s commitment to understanding and managing its impact on the environment. We are currently updating the University’s Environmental Sustainability Strategy and this will help to strengthen and drive forward more exciting projects and initiatives that will hopefully be recognised as demonstrating best practise in environmental and sustainability excellence
“I would like to congratulate the team for their hard work over the last 12 months and for the commitment and dedication they have shown.”
Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the People and Planet table was created from a 2003 student campaign demanding universities to ‘go green’ and aim for sustainability.
The ranking had clear aims: to make transparent the sustainable development of publicly funded universities, to create competition in the sector that would drive environmental and ethical performance, and to empower students and prospective students with the understanding of whether and how an institution was taking responsibility.
More here on the People and Planet University League 2017: www.peopleandplanet.org/university-leagueRead more on how your suggestions have shaped WGU's direction
Once complete the Science Garden will offer a mixture of planted areas and features such as wheelchair friendly surfacing, raised beds and pond area, a composting area and a number of working exhibits of equipment that will illustrate the primary scientific themes of Biodiversity, Renewable Energy and Recycling.
Read more here
Green Champion Training
Today it is more important than ever to become a greener, more efficient university. It will help to improve our reputation, provide a platform for innovation, help attract and retain students, achieve better growth, cut costs and strengthen stakeholder relations.
Read more here
We are delighted to support Flint and District Beekeepers Association in their battle to save the honey bee. As well as being a fantastic opportunity for our students to learn more about them, it means we are helping with conservation and the environment, which is a major part of this campus.
Read more here
The evening was kicked off with opening remarks by WGSU CEO Sarah Ellis highlighting the important work the SU have achieved throughout the year. This was followed by a remarkable speech by WGU Vice Chancellor Professor Maria Hinfelaar who described WGSU as the best Students’ Union that she had come across. The first awards of the evening went to the Best Lecturers of 2017
Read more here
Northop is the home of the university’s rural and land-based studies so sustainability and the environment is at the heart of everything we do. It’s fantastic to see so many of our students playing an active role in helping to preserve the environment for future generations.
Read more here
Audio cassettes and 35mm slides rescued by two academics when a Shropshire college was set to dispose of them have been recycled for a new exhibition.
Read more here
Wrexham Glyndwr University is passionate about supporting its graduates to connect with industry and the visit to the solar farm will enhance the theoretical knowledge of renewable technologies which they’ve been learning here on campus.
Read more here
Coed Llys, 15 hectares of woodland, has been restored to recover its ecological value and after a recent visit from Coed Cadw Woodland Trust compartments are now classified as a Restored Ancient Woodland.
Read more here
FlintShare run three community vegetable growing schemes across the county, the site at Northop, one on the Gladstone estate in Hawarden and one in Cilcain. The aim of the not for profit organisation is to encourage people to share the work of growing vegetables and then share the produce which comes from them.
Read more here
A case study on Glyndŵr University who used Salix interest-free funding to invest in Pipework Insulation
Salix Finance has supported Glyndwr University to implement pipework insulation at the Plas Coch Campus. This project has allowed them to achieve £10,319 of savings to their annual energy costs.
Read more here
Salix were so impressed by our insulation project that they are currently using it as a case study for other town and community councils to view as best practice in carbon management.
Read more here
Upgrades to the university’s lighting and heating systems – which included the installation of T5 fluorescent lamps and some LED and well as comprehensive pipework insulation – will see the campus cut its annual energy costs by £23,102, amounting to savings of more than £490,000 over the lifetime of the projects. In addition the schemes will save 3,384 tonnes of CO2 over their lifetime.
Read more here
Glyndŵr University, a long- term client of IEC, is ‘poised to be a leader’ among the greenest higher education institutions in the UK
Glyndwr University is targeting a 20% reduction in emissions by 2015, and 34% by 2020. A report by the Carbon Trust in Wales and Hefcw, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, praised Glyndwr for achieving the savings.
Read more here
Simple steps, such as turning off and unplugging all office, classroom and kitchen equipment and turning off all office and classroom lights can significantly help the university reduce its energy consumption.
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Energy and sustainability assistant Fiona Williams and energy and maintenance manager Paul Wright say the improvements can be attributed to a number of projects, including new lighting in the Edward Llwyd Centre and insulation of heating and hot water pipework and fittings at the 125-year-old Wrexham campus.
Read more here
This is fabulous news. At Glyndwr University we know how important it is to reduce our carbon footprint, now and in the future. Prof Scott said: “I am pleased with the results and would like to thank everyone for their hard work in achieving this.”
Read more here