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Durham University



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.

Biodiversity plays a key role in our Environmental Sustainability Vision, Policy and Strategy and Action Plan with detailed Key Performance Indicators.

Live video streams of nesting blue tits

Following the success of the nest box cameras that were live streamed via YouTube for the last three years, the Department of Biosciences and School of Engineering and Computer Sciences did the same again in spring 2017. We got to watch two pairs of blue tits build their nests, lay their eggs, then witnessed the delightful sight of the baby blue tits hatching and finally leaving their nests. Hopefully we will get to witness this spectacular event again in the future.

Durham University Biodiversity Survey

To develop the biodiversity aspect of the University's Environmental Vision, Policy and Strategy, the Environmental Sustainability Strategic Planning Group (ESSPG) established a Biodiversity Working Group. 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.

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 website, where lists of everything found will be compiled. This site will also contain information on short nature trails around the University Estate.

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.

Biophilia – Engagement in Biodiversity

Biophilia – Engagement in Biodiversity

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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.