Norwich is undoubtedly a city very much infused with the countryside, and the UEA campus is no exception to this. Any students arriving from an urban area are sure to be shocked by the abundance of wildlife that lives alongside the lecture theatres and the LCR.
The most famous of these creatures are surely the rabbits, a UEA institution with all the associated myths and legends that come from recognition such as this. While it is widely asserted that killing one of the university’s furry friends is grounds for expulsion, many also claim that if a student catches a live rabbit on campus and brings it to the bar they can earn themselves a free drink. Although neither of these things can be confirmed nor recommended, they do show the amount of interest surrounding the bunnies. In June 2012 this was taken to a countrywide level when they appeared on both The One Show and Springwatch along with the research of Dr Diana Bell from the universities’ School of Biological Sciences.
A much more recent addition to UEA’s wildlife brood are the Highland cows that can be found at the western end of campus. Brought in in the autumn of 2012, the livestock are used for conservation purposes, helping to restore the fen sites on the universities’ land, a project much supported by the Norfolk Wildlife Trust. Not only have the cows had a great impact on the sustainability of the area, they have also brought great recognition to the university as an institution that is invested in the environment; UEA has been shortlisted in the Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development category this year in the Times Higher Education Awards.
In any conversation regarding UEA’s nature though, the lake cannot be forgotten. Constructed between 1973 and 1978, the Broad is probably the most famous of UEA’s many spectacular sights across its 360 acres, treasured for its scenic views and close proximity to the centre of campus. While its inclusion in the famous Five L challenge proves the Broad’s notoriety amongst UEA’s students, it also boasts a wide variety of bird and fish species, making it an equally celebrated spot amongst bird watchers and fishermen.
For those living in the University Village, the wildlife is similarly abundant; not only does it boast its own length of river, but it is not uncommon to see ponies trotting along beside it, a welcome bonus for the added walk to campus that comes with the accommodation.
It’s not just the university which boasts beautiful nature though; for those willing to trek a little further off campus, the illusive Plantation Garden acts as Norwich’s own secret garden. Situated on Earlham Road, it is three acres of stunning flora, Medieval walls and Gothic fountains, perfect for those who enjoy a more refined scene.
So, why not step outside this autumn, and take advantage of the stunning backdrop against which UEA is set?