Biodiversity

Biodiversity is defined as the variety of plant and animal species on Earth, and the interactions and ecological processes that sustain them.

At Leeds, we aim to become exemplars of urban biodiversity. We do this by recognising and embracing the challenges faced in urban centres and embedding biodiversity into all our campus works.

We ensure continual improvement by using our campus as a living lab for learning and teaching as well as testing new approaches to monitoring and management and creating welcoming spaces that support improved wellbeing and health of all.

Our Biodiversity Standard and action plan provides a framework for our approach in managing biodiversity, allowing us to be innovative and push the boundaries in recognising the important role biodiversity plays in improving wellbeing and health, particularly in urban centres.

Want to get involved?

There are lots of ways to become part of the biodiversity community which are highlighted below. If you’d like to register to take part in any of these volunteering activities, sign up using this form and we will keep you posted on opportunities, events and activities.

Biodiversity Monitoring

Student Ambassadors MonitoringThe award-winning Urban Biodiversity Monitoring Programme aims to understand how urban landscapes can be used innovatively to find solutions to problems and aid decision making for campus development.

The programme is open to all and surveys can be completed easily whilst moving around the campus, or as a break from the indoors!  A team of student biodiversity ambassadors lead group monitoring sessions during term times.  To find out more or to join a session email biodiversity@leeds.ac.uk.

Hedgehog Friendly Campus

Hedgehog graphic with the words 'Hedgehog Friendly Campus' and 'Silver Award 2021/22'

The University of Leeds are signed up to the Hedgehog Friendly Campus initiative, run nationally by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, and are currently at the Silver level of the programme.

Our Student Biodiversity Ambassadors lead the programme on behalf of the University and training and support is offered to anybody wanting to get involved.

If you’d like to find out more, or get involved, please email biodiversity@leeds.ac.uk

Beekeeping

Image of beekeepers tending a hive at the University of Leeds

We have three beehive locations on campus – at St George’s Field, Laidlaw Library and near the School of Earth and Environment (SOEE).  To find out more see our beekeeping page.

Sustainable Garden

Picture of the Sustainable Garden

First created in 2013, the sustainable garden provides opportunities for learning, teaching and research as well as engaging with the public.

To find out more or to get involved, visit the Sustainable Garden webpage.

Peregrines on the tower

One of the University of Leeds Peregrines on Parkinson Tower taken by Paul Wheatley

Peregrines have been using the Parkinson tower for a number of years now and in that time, seven chicks have been successfully hatched and raised.  We have two webcams on the nesting tray, which can be viewed by visiting our main peregrines webpage.

Roger Stevens Urban Pond

Roger Stevens Cooling Pond, an example of the Leeds Living Lab project

When the Roger Stevens building was first constructed, the site was designed to serve as a ‘cooling pond’ for the heating systems.  Actually located on a rooftop, until recently, the pond was ornamental and in terms of biodiversity, sterile.

As part of a collaborative living lab research project, the space was developed to create floating islands and submerged planting that can withstand drought if maintenance on the roof should be required.  Monitoring equipment in the pond ensures the habitat is kept optimal for visiting wildlife and supports research and teaching.  In the short space of time since it was redesigned, we already have regular visits from ducks and herons.  Bats have also been spotted in the summer evenings and many invertebrates are now present including dragonflies and damselflies.  Fish were also installed and can be seen swimming beneath the waterlilies, providing a wonderful place to relax and engage with nature.

The Sensory Garden

The Sensory Garden at Charles Morris Accommodation

Located outside Charles Morris Hall the Sensory Garden has been designed to provide access for all with wheelchair access and guides for both the visually impaired and blind visitors.

The plants that have been installed are specifically chosen to help with people who are registered on the autism spectrum and provide year-round interest for all to enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the space whilst at the same time providing opportunities for wildlife to thrive on the city campus.

Latest news and blog posts

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We have recruited our new cohort of Student Sustainability Architects, who are part time paid positions at the University. The...

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Can you recognise the birds you see in your garden or local park? Wish you could identify some of the...

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Every Friday, biodiversity volunteers have been watching the campus bloom and thrive as spring arrived. St George’s Fields – nestled...

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Hi, I’m Sam, the Student Sustainability Architect working on the University’s biodiversity monitoring programme at Bodington Fields alongside a wider...

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The University of Leeds is developing plans for one of the most significant woodland creation projects in the north of...

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The official launch of a natural flood management site on Bodington Fields took place on 19th May. Located at the...

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The 2022 Big Campus Birdwatch takes place on Friday 28th January, and we’re encouraging staff and students to take part....

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Final works have begun on the Bodington Fields Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme at the University of Leeds’ Brownlee Triathlon Centre,...

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United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

We use the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework to guide our activity. Our work on biodiversity is linked to all of the SDGs.

Find out more about our impact on the SDGs.