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 by recognising and embracing the challenges faced in urban centres by embedding biodiversity into all of 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 as well as creating welcoming spaces that support improved wellbeing and health of all.

Our Approach

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, some of which are highlighted below. If you'd like to find out more about any of these activities, or get involved, email: biodiversity@leeds.ac.uk.

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.

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.

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 the programme and offer training and support to anyone wanting to get involved.

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.

Hedgehog Friendly Campus

Hedgehog Friendly Campus Image

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 Bronze 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

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.