Biodiversity is a fundamental to all aspects of life on our planet, without diverse ecological systems, and the plants, animals and other organisms that live inhabit them, we could not survive.
Canterbury Christ Church University, as a largely urban based institution, with its main campuses in Canterbury, Broadstairs and Chatham , has a limited area of natural or semi-natural habitats (e.g. woods, natural grasslands), however, its wide range of ‘pocket habitats’ (ornamental gardens, church yard, ancient walls, ponds, etc.) do host a rich and diverse assemblage of plant and animal life.
It is our responsibility to protect and enhance the biodiversity of these sites for the benefit the university as well as the city and the UNESCO World Heritage Site, of with which we are part (Canterbury Cathedral, St. Augustine’s Abbey and St. Martin’s Church). The University has a biodiversity policy that provides the basis for plans to maintain and enhance biodiversity; particularly in regard to the planting of trees, shrubs and appropriate herbaceous plants, and the encouragement of animal life.
The University Estates staff already work towards sustainability, for example in providing informal plantings using native wildflower seed and ensuring areas of deadwood are provided for insect life.
A formal biodiversity audit has yet to be completed, but a PDF of a recent work-placement project on biodiversity ay Christ Church, undertaken by a Spanish biological sciences graduate, Estibaliz Aguirre Gandariasbeitia, can be downloaded. The placement was organised by the University's Centre for Enterprise and Business Development (CEBD) linked to a Leonardo Grant, and based in the Department of Geographical and Life Sciences.