Biodiversity and ecology
UWE Bristol campuses cover an area of 150 hectares, ie 1.5 square kilometres, with large areas of Glenside Campus and Bower Ashton designated as conservation areas.
In 2020 UWE Bristol declared a climate and ecological emergency and building on previous progress, we have since developed a detailed plan to respond to the crisis. Working with the natural environment to maximise biodiversity, our grounds team use sustainable gardening techniques to create beautiful spaces for students and staff to use for leisure, for study and for practical experience.
Read on to learn about the many ways we are supporting biodiversity across campus and how you can get involved.
What are UWE Bristol doing to support biodiversity?
We are developing diverse ecosystems through:
- meadowscaping areas of grass at Frenchay Campus and Glenside Campus - mown only two or three times a year: these areas will not only benefit wildlife but bring nature closer to people
- increasing artificial habitats for bats, birds, butterflies, and ladybirds by providing appropriate planting, roosting and nesting boxes and feeding stations
- improving biodiversity and edible planting at City campus and at Glenside Campus; including a small orchard, clear water pond, native bulb planting, herb planting, and wildlife habitats
- reviewing all ponds at Frenchay Campus on an ongoing basis and taking action to to improve their biodiversity
- continuing the evolution of the community garden, including working with the Students' Union Green Team and UWE Wellbeing Services; improvement of disabled access and introduction of raised beds for wheelchair users
- developing an on-site plant nursery to include production of key pollinator plants, such as thyme and rosemary, and a native tree sapling nursery
- introducing new signage (accessible with a QR code) to tell the story of how we are managing the campus for biodiversity
- processing an increasing large percentage of our green waste on site into compost for reuse onto the grounds
- using 100% peat free compost and growing mediums
- using electric vehicles and tools: over 90% of our grounds maintenance tools are electric powered, including lawnmowers and buggies resulting in less noise and air pollution.
The Frenchay Beeline
The award-winning Frenchay Beeline is a clever scheme to bring nature into the heart of the Frenchay campus, introducing plants that are specifically “edible pollinators” at over 30 locations.
Our staff, students and visitors have access to free herbs, seasonal fruit and vegetables, while also helping to enhance biodiversity in the local area.
Planting schemes have been designed around ten key edible pollinators, this core planting is then supplemented by seasonal edibles and high-performing pollinator plants on a continuous basis throughout the year.
In 2021/22 work has been under way to extend the Beeline to all campuses and this will continue in the year ahead.
This innovative and eco-friendly UWE Bristol project was a finalist for 'Campus of the Future' at the Green Gown Awards 2019.
What you can do - enjoy, study, garden
- Take a walk around Frenchay Campus taking in a range of sustainability and biodiversity features using our Green Campus map or UWE Beeline map (PDF), and explore Glenside Campus with our Glenside Green Campus map.
- Get practical experience of sustainable gardening techniques at our community garden sessions at Frenchay Campus and follow our facebook page or the Green Team events page for updates. Individual and group plots available, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
- Join the Beeline Champions WhatsApp group for information and updates on our Hedgehog friendly campus, green walls, social prescription, the Beeline, harvesting, foraging and more. Email Richie Fluester at email@example.com to be added to the group. If you haven’t got a smart phone, let him know so he can make other arrangements to keep you informed.
- Learn about sustainability and the trees at Glenside Campus during a lunchtime nature ramble.
- Whether working on or off campus, student or staff, keep up to date with nature on our sites and join the myuwegarden email group for updates. Email Richie Fluester at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- Join our weekly Thursday lunchtime walks at Frenchay Campus. Email Marie Pring at email@example.com for details.
If your student or staff group would like a walk or talk specifically for you, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Landscape and Biodiversity Management Plan 2020-2026
We are proud to have developed our 2020-26 Biodiversity Management Plan with input from UWE Bristol academics, local wildlife trusts, local councils, residential and business neighbours, and local schools.
Student support and projects
We are keen for students to learn from our management of the grounds. We can support you by providing campus tours, information and interviews. You can also get involved in our wildlife surveys and landscape management plans, write an article for us or make a video. Whatever your course we will try to support you. Get in touch with Richie Fluester at email@example.com to chat through possibilities.