Conservation and biodiversity are essential considerations in the management of Heriot-Watt University’s estate. The Edinburgh campus benefits from an attractive parkland setting which provides a broad range of habitats.
The University works to manage and enhance these by practices including:
- Hosting apiaries and planting wildflowers to attract and provide for a range of insect pollinators
- Enhancing biodiversity by selective planting of trees under the University’s Woodland Management Plan
- Creating shelter and further opportunities for wildlife by leaving deadwood piles in woodland areas, and by installing breeding and roosting boxes for birds and bats
- Using low intervention landscape management practices, for example leaving perennials to stand over winter to as a food source and adopting reduced mowing regimes in appropriate areas of the campus
- Sensitively undertaking management processes to cater for wildlife, for example timing hedge-cutting operations to avoid the bird nesting season
The Lawn and Central Woodlands areas of the Edinburgh campus have for several years achieved certification under the “Green Flag Award” scheme, recognising the University’s efforts to manage the natural heritage of the area while promoting broader access. Details of these areas, along with the Campus natural history trails, can be found in Your Guide to the Campus.
The University is working to create a new Biodiversity Policy and Action Plan for the Edinburgh campus, co-ordinating with City of Edinburgh Council to help support the objectives of the Edinburgh Biodiversity Action Plan.