The strip of grassland underneath each tree will be allowed to grow longer and managed as a mini-hay meadow, cut once or twice a year with the clippings removed to reduce soil fertility and allow wildflowers to thrive.
The fruit trees will boost the amount of pollen, nectar and fruit resources available for our beleaguered wild pollinators and birds, while the longer grass will provide cover for many invertebrates and small mammals.
A further boost will follow this autumn, with the creation of three pocket wildflower meadows and an area of longer grassland along Roosevelt Drive. These will also be managed with one or two cuts a year; once the perennial wildflowers get established they will provide food and shelter for a range of wildlife and a give the verge a more natural feel. All this work is being carried by the University Parks and funded by the Environmental Sustainability team; it will contribute to achieving the ambitious targets on increasing biodiversity set out in the University's recently launched Sustainability Strategy.