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A round and about Whiteknights campus - what on earth is going on?

filling circles beneath trees with earth

Filling circle beneath a tree with recycled organic matter

'Next year there will be further work at the library, Whiteknights House, Pepper Lane and large swathes of bulb planting in and around our new tree circles and lawn' Giles Reynolds, Deputy Head of Grounds

You may have noticed the curious circles that have appeared beneath the trees on campus, now slowly being filled with earth, and doubtless wondered why. There are many good reasons for this. The creation of large mulch areas around trees increases their vitality; they protect the tree from damage by mowers; reduce competition for and retain moisture and nutrients to the roots; encourage exposure to the air and allow better water penetration to the roots.

As part of the University's bio diversity policy, 95% of our green waste by is recycled by chipping, shredding and composting and this is the material now being used around the trees.

The pond outside the Palmer building which had been a maintenance problem for some time has now been replaced with an area that staff and students can use to sit and relax.

The original benches have been refurbished and the original Waterhouse gates from Foxhill House have been used as a decorative feature. 50% of the plants used in the new feature came from an herbaceous border at the Greenlands campus in Henley. These are a tall straight grass (Calamagrostis ‘Karl forster' - feather reed grass) that will echo the former aquatic environment and add movement and gentle noise. Bulbs will be added next winter to add spring interest.

The hedge has been removed and this will make the area much more accessible, lighter and has evicted many rodents! Debris from the pond demolition filled in holes in the road at the University boat house in Caversham.

Around the Main Library the plantings were past their best and were also home to plenty of rodents! The Ground's team have planted 6 Magnolia kobus trees that were donated by Terrapin the company that built the University's new nursery. Large shrubberies have been replaced with hedges, and turf.

In consultation with library staff, Japanese maples, evergreen ornamental grasses and perennials that will attract butterflies have been planted.

If you would like to know more about the University's grounds and trees

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