Wild Peffermill: Sowing the seeds for a nature positive future

Earlier this month student athletes representing eight different sports teams gathered at Peffermill Playing Fields to plant trees and celebrate the launch of an exciting new project aiming to restore natural habitats on the site.

Student athletes  from eight different sports teams and staff gathered to plant trees at Peffermill Playing Fields, getting their fill of fresh air and exercise. The trees will mature and provide a home and food for wildlife on the site - a step towards the restoration of natural habitats at Peffermill. 

A group photo of about 20 student athletes assembled outside at Peffermill Playing Fields.
Student athletes and staff took part in a special Big Dig event to celebrate the launch of WIld Peffermill.

The event was preceded by World Wildlife Day on 3 March, a global event celebrating wild animals and plants. With global wildlife populations dropping by 69% on average since 1970, our natural world is in crisis.

In response to this ecological emergency, the University has pledged to restore species and ecosystems across our campus and beyond, and to enhance its positive impact on nature through teaching, research and operations.

Nature and Biodiversity

What is Wild Peffermill?

Wild Peffermill marks the start of a long-term vision to protect and restore nature and wildlife habitats across our extraordinary campus, whilst enhancing the experience of our student and staff communities. We want students and staff to enjoy the multiple benefits of getting outdoors and staying active, whilst learning about nature and the importance of biodiversity.

Explore our Wild Campus

Bringing together sport, nature and a central campus location, Peffermill is the perfect place to start our Wild Campus journey, via a special Big Dig event. The Big Dig is a hugely successful initiative run by the Active Lives team and has seen over 2000 trees planted at the University’s Easter Bush campus. Wild Peffermill has brought the Big Dig to Edinburgh’s central campus, exemplifying our vision to bring our staff and students closer to wild spaces and natural habitats.

The Big Dig

We had a fantastic afternoon kicking off our ‘Wild Peffermill’ project. Peffermill is already home to curlews, bats and otters, and we will continue to work hard to develop our sporting estate whilst supporting biodiversity and wildlife across the site.

Mark Munro, Director of Sport and Active Health, The University of Edinburgh


Over the next year the grounds  team at Peffermill has committed to:

  • transform over 25,000m2 non-pitch amenity grassland areas into wildflower meadows and grasslands;
  • actively manage woodland areas to improve their health;
  • leave hedgerows to grow to allow habitats to develop; and
  • remove non-native invasive plant species and plant trees to improve habitats.

The event was organised by the Sport & Exercise Active Lives Initiative and supported by the Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability.

Get involved

Do you want to get involved with nature positive activities on campus? Register for our newsletter to be the first to know about nature positive opportunities across our campus.

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Develop your understanding of our natural world by taking our Biodiversity Literacy Training – available to all staff and students.

Biodiversity Literacy Training

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