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We've launched our Biodiversity Strategy!

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Our Biodiversity Strategy for 2022-2032 is the culmination of many years of work by our staff and students. Biodiverse environments have been proven to increase the quality of life. We already have an enviable green and biodiverse Estate, with fascinating wildlife on the doorstep of almost all departments and colleges. 

Your health and wellbeing is important to us, so we are taking action to ensure we have a place for you to benefit from our biodiversity green spaces to exercise, relax and engage with nature.

We launched the Strategy at an event at the Botanic Garden. Key internal and external stakeholders attended with the aim of raising awareness of the Strategy and Action Plan: encouraging engagement, embedding the Strategy into future processes, and facilitating collaboration.

The event included a tour of the Botanic Garden, presentations introduced by our Vice-Chancellor and Warden, Karen O’Brien, followed by a panel Q&A with Professor Steve Willis (Biosciences), Jim Cokill (Durham Wildlife Trust) and Peter Nailon (Wear Rivers Trust). Maggie Bosanquet and Councillor Mark Wilkes were also in attendance from Durham County Council to answer any queries.

Professor Steve Willis described the event as “a long time in the making” and added:

The launch event went brilliantly, and it is all thanks to the combined efforts of our undergraduate and postgraduate students who have been collecting data over the last few years to form the backbone of the Biodiversity Strategy.

“It was great to see all the support from our Vice-Chancellor as well as our external partners such as Durham County Council, Wear Rivers Trust and Durham Wildlife Trust and we’re looking forward to working with them all in the future to improve the Biodiversity in our area.”

A bit about the Strategy

Our vision is to deliver excellence in education, research and wider student experience in the most sustainable way possible, and biodiversity is key to this.

We already undertake much work to maintain our biodiversity assets, and as a result, in 2022, became one of the founder members of the Nature Positive Universities Network, which was established at the UN Biodiversity Conference (CBP-COP15) in Montreal, Canada.

Key environmental goals we want to achieve across our Estate by 2032 include: planting appropriate native plants alongside new University developments; establishing and maintaining native hedges across the Estate; and assessing whether grassland not used for sport can be turned into biodiverse habitats such as wildflower meadows.

Do you want to get involved?

  • Explore further opportunities to get involved by visiting – read our brochure and watch our video.
  • Register for our My Greenspace App. Points can be won for biodiversity activities including explore your neighbourhood, connect with nature and grow your own.
  • Visit
  • Sign up for volunteering opportunities include litter picks, beach cleans and Himalayan Balsam bashing.




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