The Durham City Campus of Durham University is one of the most beautiful in Britain and includes examples of high quality wildlife habitats located within its estate. These include deciduous woodland, coniferous woodland, grassland and wetland habitats. These habitats, and the wildlife that they host, are an important resource for the University, Durham City and the region, and help to make Durham University an attractive institution for study and work, for staff and students alike.
To develop the biodiversity aspect of the University's Environment Policy, the Greenspace Advisory Group established a Biodiversity Working Group comprising of three of its members - Steve Ansdell, Phil Gates, Allan Watson and Steve Willis.
The Group decided that the most important task was to develop a comprehensive database of the flora and fauna present in the University estate, as a thorough knowledge of what is already present is a pre-requisite for future planning and conservation.
Durham University Biodiversity Survey
The United Nations declared 2010 the International Year of Biodiversity. As part of Durham University's contribution to this event, we used the opening of our new Botanic Garden Woodland and Haymeadow Nature Trail to launch the Durham University Biodiversity Survey. Our former Chancellor, Bill Bryson, opened the nature trail and launched the survey in the Botanic Garden woodland on 9th March 2010.
The Durham University Biodiversity Survey offers all staff and students the opportunity to participate in a survey of the plants, animals and fungi found within the estate.
Staff and students can upload their records of plants, animals and fungi to the Durham University Biodiversity web site, where lists of everything found will be compiled. This site will also contain a regular newsletter, information on short nature trails around the university estate and details of lunchtime guided walks to help staff and students hone their wildlife identification skills.
The objectives of the survey are to increase awareness of members of the university to the biodiversity on our doorstep, foster greater appreciation of this resource and encourage its conservation, for the benefit of all who live and work in Durham city.
The Biodiversity Working Group has three other projects underway at the moment and details of these can be found by following the 'project' links on the left.
Biophilia – Engagement in Biodiversity
At Durham University we undertake extensive engagement in biodiversity awareness, monitoring and enhancement across the University. Enhancement and monitoring projects include moth and infra-red mammal camera trapping, acoustic recording, nest-box schemes and estate management changes. Engagement tools include training, online biodiversity identification and recording, blogging and guided walks. Watch this short video to learn more.