Biodiversity plan launched to benefit plants, animals and more

The University's first ever biodiversity plan will protect and enhance green spaces on campus, and in the wider community, for all who enjoy them.

Biodiversity plan

Biodiversity means the variety of life on earth including different species of plants, fungi, animals, bacteria, the differences within species and different ecosystems such as marine, freshwater, grassland and forest.

We want our campus greenspaces to be biodiverse, not only for the species that call them home but for the benefit of humans too.

Biodiverse green spaces are great for our health & wellbeing, and also help us adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change.

We recognise the nature crisis as equally important to the climate crisis.

The University of Edinburgh recognises that our owned and managed sites encompass a range of habitats and species, with many opportunities to conserve and enhance conditions for biodiversity.

We are committed to actively enhancing conditions for and promoting biodiversity on our grounds. We support biodiversity in our local neighbourhoods and region, to improve the health and well-being of staff, students and the wider community.

Biodiversity Plan 2022

Policy priorities

  1. Biodiversity Plan 2022 print mockup

    Protect existing biodiversity

  2. Enhance conditions for biodiversity where possible

  3. Connect areas for wildlife

  4. Promote engagement with biodiversity

  5. Follow general landscape management principles

  6. Incorporate biodiversity into University developments

  7. Provide buildings & structures for biodiversity

Read the full Biodiversity Plan

Land-based carbon sequestration

The University's investment in carbon sequestration will also include a focus on the biodiversity of peatlands and woodlands.

University commits to sequester over one million tonnes of unavoidable CO2 emissions

Take action

It's Hedgehog Awareness Week from 1 to 7 May.

Find out how you can get involved to take action for nature.

Bioblitz, May 2022

The purpose of this bioblitz is to record as many animal species as possible on campus between 8am and 8pm on the day, using iNaturalist.

Help us map biodiversity across our campuses.

  • Bioblitz Birch Shieldbug at King's Buildings campus
    Monday 2 May - Central Campus & Moray House
  • Tuesday 3 May - King's Buildings, Pollock Halls & Easter Bush
  • Wednesday 4 May - Little France & The Western General (open to NHS staff and visitors)
  • Thursday 5 May - Edinburgh College of Art (ECA)

Register for bioblitz

Download iNaturalist app [external]

Hedgehog home building, 3 May at 5pm

Hedgehog at CRM

G.01 - Seminar Room (Vet School)

Learn how to build a hedgehog home at this student-organised event as part of Hedgehog Awareness Week. Keep an eye out on Hedgehog Friendly Campus social media channels for more details. Open to both staff and students.

Register for hedgehog home building [external]

Green Communities activities to look out for

  • Greening project along the Union Canal: after Easter.

  • Field Group biodiversity pond student engagement: mid to end of May.

  • Student-led night survey for hedgehogs at Pollock Halls and Peffermill Playing Fields: student volunteers will be recruited after May.

Biodiversity wins

  • Someone planting a tree at the Big Dig 2021 - Photo credit: Andrew Perry and Sport & Exercise
    Big Dig 2021, photo credit: Andrew Perry and Sport & Exercise
    Tree planting: Coinciding with the start of COP15, 700 trees are being planted at the University’s Easter Bush campus for the second year running. Big Dig (fully booked)
  • Sustainable Food Grant: New fruit trees and herb planters will soon be appearing on accommodation sites. The Kings Building Permaculture Garden society has received funding to train three students in permaculture methods.
  • Blue carbon pilot: We are developing a pilot project in blue carbon, to restore seagrass meadows along Scotland's coast. Staff and students will have opportunities to contribute to the project as volunteers or through research.
  • University's Woodland Management Plan: Soon to be launched, the plan will lay out our approach to managing pockets of woodland owned by the University across Edinburgh to benefit nature.
  • Hedgehog Friendly Campus: We won a gold award, and have lots of exciting projects happening this year as we work towards platinum, including the student hedgerow project. Hedgehog Friendly Campus
  • Kinder pest control: We are reviewing rat bait box designs to determine the safest for hedgehogs. We will also be trialling a non-lethal method to control seagulls at an accommodation site, the Scarem kite.

Our Biodiversity projects

Biodiversity topic page