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About Biodiversity

Biodiversity is a term used to describe the variety of life and its processes. This includes the sheer amount of species on earth and the communities and ecosystems where they occur.

The University of Exeter comprises an area of 153 hectares which includes a wide-range of different, rich habitats and provide a key link to other natural environments of importance in the Exeter area. The grounds are host to a wide variety of amphibians, birds, insects, mammals and reptiles, producing a diverse system of ecological niches, making this a fascinating place to study, work and visit.

What we do to enhance biodiversity on University estates

The University takes great pride in its estates and takes the following actions to maintain and enhance its biodiversity:

  • Preserve and enhance existing valuable habitats
  • Identify specialist measures for vulnerable species.  e.g. protection around known badger sites
  • Erect explanatory signs by valuable habitats
  • Reduce the use of residual pesticides e.g. use of bark mulch and natural predators
  • Zero green waste policy
  • Stimulate natural habitats by leaving  ‘eco-strips’ near streams and woodland edges
  • Non-urgent tree felling works to be done outside the bird nesting season and hedges checked for nests
  • Habitat piles left in appropriate areas to provide sources of food, shelter and hibernation sites
  • Bird and bat boxes will be erected at suitable locations throughout the campus and monitored annually
  • Planting schemes will use a variety of plants, trees and shrubs, with varying flowering times to encourage year round wildlife activity

The information below demonstrates how the University is working to reduce the environmental impact of our operations and to make a positive impact on our local environment.  The maps and trails can be used to help you take a walk around the campuses and see the species that live here and the techniques we use to support wildlife on our grounds.