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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 the campus and local area. Insects are a vital part of our ecosystem; they are an important source of food for birds, bats and other animals and also predate on other insects such as aphids which keeps our gardens and crops pest-free. Insects help with the decomposition of soil, making it rich in nutrients and are essential for pollinating plants and flowers.

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

The Grounds and Gardens team benefit from having two new electric vehicles. The first is a mini E-truck which is great for travelling around campus, and the second is a Nissan 100% Electric Zero Emissions van. Along with our new vehicles the team use a selection of eco-friendly electric garden tools including long and short arm hedge cutters and strimmer’s.

Edible plants have been planted across campus including herbs and salad crops, available for staff and students to help themselves too. The strawberries are a real winner!

The University is committed to ensuring that our green spaces offer benefits to the environment and our staff and students. The team practice a tree replacement policy on all sites, where if a tree is removed it will be replaced by another. On a yearly basis new tree whips are planted, and any that have not survived are replaced with a new one.  

The Grounds and Gardens team run workshops with students at Chester to build bird and bat boxes that have been installed in trees across the sites. There are also plans to install swift boxes. Alongside the sports pitches at Kingsway Campus, 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. Providing the biodiversity on which we all depend on for the quality of life and for the future of the planet. It can also be beneficial for improving lifestyles, wellbeing and working conditions.

Tree Planting at Kingsway

University Allotment

The University has a dedicated space for staff and students to grow fruit and vegetables. The University allotment is run by a team of staff/student volunteers who meet regularly. In May 2022, the allotment was redeveloped, making 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; recently, the team prepared the allotment for winter. To keep up to date with allotment sessions, you can join our Allotment MS Teams channel here.

Allotment summer harvest