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Staff accepting award at the Green Gown Awards 2023

We have been recognised in the Nature Positive category at the 2023 Green Gown Awards for our Biodiversity Strategy. Congratulations to all involved!

Our Biodiversity Strategy for 2022-2032 is the culmination of many years of work by our staff and students. We have an enviable green and biodiverse campus, with fascinating wildlife on the doorstep of almost all departments and colleges. To be presented with this award highlights the continued efforts of our university community to protect and restore the biodiversity across our campus and surrounding areas.

Green Gown Awards

What it means to win

Vice-Chancellor and Warden, Professor Karen O’Brien said “Environmental sustainability is a vital and growing part of our teaching and learning, our wider student experience and our research agenda.  Our work to promote and preserve biodiversity ranges from our Botanic Garden, which is open to our staff, students and wider community, to volunteering and outreach programmes with local schools. We are one of the founder members of the Nature Positive Universities Network.

“Winning the Green Gown Award will further inspire our collective communities to continue to strive towards a common goal of preserving our beautiful environment for very many years to come, for future generations to enjoy.”

What the judges said

The judging panel commented that Durham has ‘taken a comprehensive approach to address nature across measurements, target setting, and implementation. This is a leading example for how to engage with both local schools and on an international stage.’

Looking to the future

We have a target to achieve Biodiversity Net Gain by 2032 against a 2018 baseline. Our ambitious strategy has already delivered results, including attracting breeding barn owls, trialling different approaches to wildflower meadow creation, re-introducing Black Poplar, the rarest tree in the UK, and achieving ‘Gold’ accreditation from Hedgehog Friendly Campus.

Find out more