As lockdown eases and more of our staff and students begin to return to the physics department, you may have also noticed that we're going little bit greener. In the quad you will find planters filled with pollinator friendly plants (many of which are sweet smelling!). Outside the front of physics and on the grass surrounding it, we are creating a wildflower meadow. You can see that as well as grass, there are many wildflowers such as vetch, daisies, clover and buttercups. This meadow will benefit lots of wildlife including bees and hedgehogs. We have also added in many perennial meadow plants which will start flowering next year. In the Isaac Newton apple tree meadow, hundreds of spring bulbs have been planted - so keep your eyes peeled next February for snowdrops, winter aconites and windflowers springing up!
This page will keep you updated of any new environmentally-friendly works and schemes the department is undertaking.
Upcoming Events Previous Events Green News
We are a newly formed group in physics - aiming to make the physics department greener and more eco-friendly. The group currently is in charge of looking after the pots in the quad and the meadow that wraps around the entire building.
We are looking for more people to grow this group - and to start more eco-projects in the department! We have a mailing list for interested people so they can join by emailing
with the subject header subscribe. If they have questions, they can email firstname.lastname@example.org or
We're looking to organise another houseplant swap in April. It will take the same format as before, under the covered area of the physics quad (in case of inclement weather). Houseplants often have high air-miles and the possibility of importing new pests and diseases. Growing and swapping plants already in the local area represents a much greener way of enjoying houseplants while being sensitive to the planet. If you have spare houseplants or doubles, or can take cuttings a few weeks before - why not bring them in and find a new one to take home! No spares/no houseplants, no problem! Come and join us and find a new houseplant for your collection.
The meadow surrounding physics has been looking lovely over the summer but will soon need a haircut ready for winter. We're thinking of doing this the traditional way - and learning to scythe. The cost would be between £30-£60 per person (in discussion). We are looking to gauge interest - do let us know if you are keen as there will be a limited number of places.
See news items below
We'll be planting some cosmos kindly given to us by Mike at the botanic gardens in large pots outside the main entrance. We'll also be doing a bit of meadow management. To stop the more thuggish wildflowers (docks and nettles) - we will need to take them out by hand. We will be doing it soon because we want to catch them before they flower and seed! In the words of Shakespeare (Henry V).
No gardening experience needed - we'll show you what to do. If you have a pair of gardening gloves/trowel do bring them - we have a few pairs spare (we will bring them freshly washed) to lend to people. Hope to meet some of you there!
2 November 2021
We had a fantastic time scything the physics meadow last Saturday with our scything tutor Danny. As both an experienced scyther and conservationist, he was able to advise us on both the meadow management to promote diversity and the technique of scything! The department kindly supported this eco-venture by paying half of the course fee, for which we are extremely grateful. Read the full story here >>
13 August 2021
Some non-native invasive weeds (Himalayan Balsam) were spotted behind the Ogden Centre in physics. These plants suppress the native woodland plants and flowers and so need to be removed. The physics ecogroup sent a small team to pull those invaders out before they set seed! Here's some in action shots!
We weren't the first to clear the Balsam - another ecowarrior had come before us and pulled out the earlier flowering plants (thank you to whoever you are!). We will have to keep going back periodically next month (and next year) to make sure that we get them all out!
We'll keep you updated as to the balsam project - why not join us next time!
18th August 2021
Our cosmic flowers (Cosmos) are doing splendidly. You might have noticed them as you come in through the main Rochester front doors! Thanks again to Mike at the botanic gardens for giving us the plants earlier this year!