Biodiversity

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The University is fortunate to have a large varied estate within which to make improvements to the variety and numbers of its wildlife and plant species. Our Biodiversity Action Plans for each site illustrate where we focus our work that is agreed and planned through the University of Greenwich Biodiversity Steering Group. These map the habitats and identify the species found at all sites. The management and protection of the University’s valuable natural habitats  have won it the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management’s ‘Corporate Achievement Award‘ in 2014.

If you are a student or staff member and interested in joining the Biodiversity Steering Group (BSG) contact Simon Goldsmith (its Chair) gs15@gre.ac.uk. For further information about the BSG see footer of this page.

Are you unclear about what Biodiversity really means? Have a quick look at this short animated video or read the explanation below.

“Biodiversity or biological diversity is defined as the diversity of living organisms including species from all biota – plants, animals, fungi, even bacteria and viruses and also the genetic variation within these species. Biodiversity is important for the wellbeing of humans and is an integral part of ecosystems which are increasingly acknowledged to provide a myriad of services to humans in addition to being of importance in its own right. It is recognised that the ‘balance of nature’ is little understood and the consequences of the loss of particular species and assemblages of species is not known and so conservation and enhancement of biodiversity is important for a wide range of reasons. Recent declines in biodiversity are largely attributable to anthropogenic causes and, now that this has been established, this confers a moral obligation on all to do their utmost to prevent further loss” ( UoG Biodiversity Plan 2010, page 3).

The University estate provides a rich living laboratory for staff and students to study and learn from. The University encourages all staff and students to explore the biodiversity of the estate and where possible seek to incorporate what can be learned from it within teaching and learning in addition to enjoying the beauty it provides. The University deliver a range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes related to the biodiversity and conservation work we do.

Key habitats and projects at the University of Greenwich

Avery Hill Campus comprises Mansions and Southwood sites constituting the largest campus by area with much, varied greenspace. This provides significant opportunities for improving the biodiversity value of the spaces we manage. We have made improvements of hedgerows, the creation of ponds, flower meadows and planted native trees. Adaptations to plant management including mowing, trimming and pruning provides habitat and food for many species. If you would like to explore the campus then follow the Avery Hill Sustainability Trail.

Greenwich Campus includes the Grade 1 listed Maritime buildings, the new BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rated Stockwell Street development plus a scattering of other buildings closeby. The opportunities for improving biodiversity in such an urban and constrained setting would at first appear challenging, however the University has ensured that the land it manages around Dreadnought is maintained in the same biodiversity friendly way that the Avery Hill campus is managed. The innovative design of the Stockwell Street development has allowed us to incorporate the largest urban green roof space in the UK comprising 14 landscaped areas with a wide range of habitats including ponds, grasslands and edible growing spaces.

The Medway Campus utilises ex naval buildings to deliver teaching, research and administrative space. Important areas for plants and wildlife include woodland and mature gardens and there are particular interventions in refurbishment programmes.

If you are staff, students or external bodies then please get in touch with the SDU to find out how you can help us make further biodiversity improvements to the estate or identify how you can learn more about the habitats and species we are guardians for.

 

Biodiversity Steering Group

This group helps develop the strategy to further improve the biodiversity of on our campuses, to ensure the strategy is delivered and to make sure that our staff, students and local communities can engage and enjoy the work done to enable nature to thrive. This group meets quarterly and includes representatives from Estates and faculties (including Grounds, campus managers, campus services, surveyors, sustainability and also academics from Environmental Conservation). It is Chaired by the Head of Sustainable Development. If you would be interested in joining contact the Chair (s.t.goldsmith@gre.ac.uk) who can send the terms of reference and answer any questions you may have. We encourage our students and staff to get involved to help ensure our work is effective and to help them utilise and provide experience and to develop key skills.

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