A picture of flowers and trees at the Edge Hill campus.
Green space at the Edge Hill campus © Edge Hill University

Edge Hill University is marking International Day for Biological Diversity by celebrating the wide variety of plants and animals that live on the stunning campus.

The University is immensely proud of the beautifully landscaped grounds, lakes and even a manmade beach, which attracts plenty of wildlife all year round.

Despite the UK being on lockdown, ducklings, geese and rabbits have made the green campus their home this spring, alongside the usual array of insects, trees and flowers – and even the campus cats. 

A picture of a rabbit at the Edge Hill campus.
One of many Edge Hill Rabbits © Edge Hill University

Neil Tonner, the University’s Grounds Manager, said:

“The grounds team work hard all year round to look after Edge Hill’s stunning natural environment for our students, staff, visitors and local wildlife to enjoy. 

“This year I’d particularly like to point out the Roses and Hydrangeas which have been growing fantastically well. We have also reduced the UV Light in the lakes to help boost the Aquatic Life.”

The green spaces on campus provide plenty of places to study, socialise and relax. However, for biology students the campus itself can be a fascinating topic of study.

A picture of seven geese in one of Edge Hill's many lakes.
Geese in one of the University’s lakes © Edge Hill University

Edge Hill Biology alumni Joshua Styles used his time at the university to conduct a Biodiversity Action Plan for the campus. He identified a number of different plants that should be protected as well as one very rare orchid.

Josh said:

“There are a few very special plants that grow around the University, which were all identified in the Biodiversity Action Plan for the campus that I put together during my time as a student. The most interesting plant on campus is Dune Helleborine orchid which grows in the Back Halls car park.

“This species is endemic and grows nowhere else in the world, whilst it is also very rare here, growing at less than 100 sites in England. The population at EHU represents one of three known populations away from the coast in the whole of the Lancashire and Merseyside area.”

Josh is due to appear on Springwatch this June.

The Dune Helleborine Orchid © Joshua Styles

Although the campus is currently closed due to the pandemic and teaching has moved online, you can experience the campus virtually for open day tours online. Check out the programme of activities here www.edgehill.ac.uk/study/visit-us/open-days/.

To find out more about the Biology courses on offer at Edge Hill University, visit edgehill.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/biology-and-biosciences. The University’s BSc (Hons) Biology course is accredited by the Royal Society of Biology, entitling students to a free, year-long associate grade RSB membership on graduation.