Leicester for Life (PDF, 1.96mb) is a promise made by the University to uphold our motto “So that they may have life.” It is a commitment to create and enhance space for diversity of life – human and non-human alike. We are renowned for our internationalism and multi-cultural communities; we should use this strength to demonstrate the variety of spaces/habitats we can create for social good.
We are committed to conserving the biodiversity of our land (PDF, 454kb) and buildings by protecting natural habitats and encouraging local wildlife in line with local and regional action plans. From this plan, we have produced a Biodiversity Action Plan to ensure that the policy is achieved.
Biodiversity Action Plan
This plan formalises the University’s responsibility to biodiversity conservation and directs day to day actions for our current and future estate. The key objectives are:
- Species - To implement specialist protective measures for vulnerable and important species with reference to the City of Leicester’s Biodiversity Action Plan (PDF, 2.64mb);
- Partnerships and Community - To establish wider links with organisations and groups to sustain and enhance biodiversity in the University and within the community;
- Estates - To integrate the principles of biodiversity conservation into estate planning and management (Leicester for Life (PDF, 1.96mb)) with the intent to enhance existing habitats and create new spaces where possible;
- Compliance - To adhere to all laws, policies protecting wildlife and natural spaces; to strive to meet guidance set down by UK government and local governing bodies and be Biodiversity Net Positive;
- Insight -To raise awareness of biodiversity on University of Leicester owned land and act on the need to maintain and enhance it for future generations;
- Education -To use the ‘living lab’ philosophy and utilise Biodiversity as a valuable teaching resource resulting in real world impacts;
- Staff and Student Experience- To enhance the natural environment within our urban campuses using responsible planning and the creation of volunteering opportunities’
Biodiversity Design Guide
We have developed a set of guiding principles for all our estates projects to ensure that each project results in a net gain for biodiversity, e.g. green wall and brown roofs on the George Davies Centre.
For example, a large outdoor lighting project is underway to expand our campus lighting but, whilst we want to enhance campus appearance and safety for humans, we are mindful that artificial lights create a glare that has the potential to disturb the night time mating rituals of several kinds of amphibians, which would ultimately contribute a major role in the decline of many species. Birds frequently go astray at night if they are incapable of differentiating between moon light and outdoor night. This risk is particularly significant for birds that hunt at night as the light affects their night vision.