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Biodiversity and Ecological Enhancement

We are working to embed biodiversity enhancement and ecological conservation into all refurbishment and new build projects as well as apply regenerative horticulture practices in our grounds management.

 

Biodiversity maintains a functional environment as well as resource for food, shelter, clothing and other materials. Our economy relies on biodiversity since it provides renewable economic resources and ecosystem services, medical and scientific benefits, and is priceless in term of cultural and aesthetic values. In response to the fact over 58% of global species that have been lost and approximately 30% of UK species becoming extinct since 1970, we are actively promoting the benefits of biodiversity conservation and enhancement. Moreover we are actively promoting and taking steps towards rebuilding the soil on our campus and to increase the holding capacity of the watersheds.

The Green Mary Garden is an important area of our Mile End Campus. This garden and allotment plots were constructed to provide opportunities for students, staff, and the wider community (including local schools) to engage with and learn more about the biodiversity and ecological systems. ​In addition we have started to replace existing lawns with wildflower meadows, planted a community orchard, created a number of `bug hotels and hedgehog houses' and are building community raised vegetable beds.

The Figure below provide an overview of the variety of native plants that are available within our medicinal and sensory garden.

A description of plants from the medicinal and sensory garden
A description of plants from the medicinal and sensory garden

These sensory plant species appeal to the five senses of: touch, sight, taste, smell, and sound. The medicinal plants that are grown across this garden have historically been used in medicine. These medicinal plants were cultivated to give our students, staff, and visitors an insight into the medicinal value of some plants. 

One of the plots within our allotment has been set aside to be used by our Nursery for educational purposes, a case study on the nursery is available. The other plots are currently being used by 40 staff members and 10 students. Designated Users of Queen Mary Allotments [PDF 19KB] of our allotment as well as crops that were grown across these plots during the 2018/19 academic year.

Commitments: Biodiversity and Ecological Enhancement

  • We will continue to engage with and support the London Borough of Tower Hamlets to enhance biodiversity across the Borough.
  • Over the next five years, we will actively explore opportunities to increase the number of native species such as Black Poplars across our Mile End Campus.
  • We will continue to improve the biodiversity of the Regents Canal (an integral aspect of our Mile End campus).
  • We will continue to support the Regent Canal’s clean-up events coordinated by the Students Union.

If you would like more information, please email sustainability@qmul.ac.uk