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The University of Chester’s estate provides valuable habitats for flora and fauna, including bug hotels which provide a haven for many types of insects, such as ladybirds, butterflies, moths, solitary bees, spiders and beetles. They are made entirely of reclaimed and recycled materials found around our learning sites and/or the local area.

Insects are a vital part of our ecosystem; they are a food source for birds, bats and other animals, and they eat aphids, keeping our gardens and crops pest-free. Insects help with the decomposition of soil, making it rich in nutrients, and they're essential for pollinating plants and flowers.

In the memorial woodland area at Exton Park, we have installed a recycled bench made entirely from unwanted wooden pallets. The next step is to work on more furniture, create a planting scheme and put up some bird feeders.

The Grounds and Gardens team has two new electric vehicles; a mini e-truck which is great for travelling around the estate, and a Nissan 100% electric zero emissions van. The team also use eco-friendly electric gardening tools, including long and short arm hedge cutters and strimmers.

We ensure our green spaces are environmentally friendly and that they offer benefits to our staff and students. The Grounds and Gardens team run workshops with students at Chester to build bird and bat boxes to install in trees on our estate. There are also plans to install swift boxes. And edible plants have been planted across our sites, including herbs, fruit and salad crops, available for staff and students to help themselves to.

The team practice a tree replacement policy on all sites; if a tree is removed it will be replaced by another. Annually, new tree whips are planted and any that have not survived are replaced with a new one. Alongside the sports pitches at our Kingsway learning site, 150 tree whips plus 50 more mature trees were planted by students, staff and residents from the local community in November 2019 in support of the Woodland Trust's Big Climate Fightback. A further 450 trees were planted in March 2020, along with wildflower seeds. Biodiversity is beneficial to the future of our planet, and it also helps to improve lifestyles, wellbeing and working conditions.

Tree Planting at Kingsway

University Allotment

The University allotment is a dedicated space for staff and students to grow fruit and vegetables. It is run by a team of staff/student volunteers. In May 2022, the allotment was redeveloped to make it more accessible, welcoming and manageable. Over the summer, students and staff enjoyed a variety of produce including salad leaves, cucumber, courgettes, beetroot and squash.

Student-led project, Welly Wednesday, host several allotment sessions throughout the year. To keep up to date with allotment sessions, join the University of Chester Allotment group.

Allotment summer harvest