Biodiversity means the variety of life on earth including different species of plants, fungi, animals, and bacteria, the differences within species, and different ecosystems such as marine, freshwater, grassland and forest.
The plan will help our campus greenspaces to be biodiverse, not only for the species that call them home but for the benefit of humans too.
Biodiverse green spaces are great for our health and wellbeing, and also help us adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change.
The University recognises the nature crisis as equally important to the climate crisis.
The policy priorities include:
- Protect existing biodiversity
- Enhance conditions for biodiversity where possible
- Connect areas for wildlife
- Promote engagement with biodiversity
- Follow general landscape management principles
- Incorporate biodiversity into University developments
- Provide buildings and structures for biodiversity
Biodiversity wins across the University
- Tree planting: Around 700 trees are being planted at the University’s Easter Bush Campus for the second year running.
- Sustainable Food Grant: New fruit trees and herb planters will soon be appearing on accommodation sites. The King’s Buildings Permaculture Garden society has received funding to train three students in permaculture methods.
- Blue carbon pilot: SRS is developing a pilot project in blue carbon, to restore seagrass meadows along Scotland’s coast. Staff and students will have opportunities to contribute to the project as volunteers or through research.
- University’s Woodland Management Plan: Soon to be launched, the plan will lay out our approach to managing pockets of woodland owned by the University across Edinburgh to benefit nature.
- Hedgehog Friendly Campus: The University won a gold award, and has lots of exciting projects happening this year as the team work towards platinum, including the student hedgerow project.
Hedgehog Friendly Campus
- Kinder pest control: SRS is helping to review rat bait box designs to determine the safest for hedgehogs. We will also be trialling a non-lethal method to control seagulls at an accommodation site, the Scarem kite.
Photography: Andrew Perry