Skip to main content

Conservation and Biodiversity

HomeSheep grazing in a field with a tree in the background

Conservation and biodiversity are key factors in the maintenance of the Botanic Garden. Pesticides are not used in the garden, and a small of flock rare breed sheep are used to graze our arboretum and wildflower meadows. There are also displays of native plants such as cornfield annuals and a magnesian limestone outcrop. There is a bird hide and feeding station in the garden, and bird and bat boxes are maintained in our local woodland. During the summer months it is possible to visit our apiary and see the bees at work from a glass observation hive. 

Durham University is committed to increasing and enhancing biodiversity on its campus. For more information, visit Durham University Biodiversity. 

We also have our Botanic Garden Biodiversity Policy

We are very grateful to our conservation volunteer students who have helped us over the years with planting, weeding and coppicing.

Durham Wildlife Trust and Biodiversity Partnership

We also support the work of Durham Wildlife Trust and the Durham Biodiversity Partnership. Over the years we have grown thousands of plants to support various projects to help: 

  • Marsh Violets (Viola palustris) - the larval food plant for the small, pearl-bordered fritillary butterfly.
  • Rock Rose (Helianthemum nummularium) - the larval food plant for the northern Argus butterfly. 
  • Blue Moor Grass (Sesleria caerulea) - a nationally scarce plant, restricted in the UK to the upland grasslands of the northern Pennines and magnesian limestone grasslands of Durham and Tyne and Wear. 
  • Common Reed (Phragmites australis) - to provide and improve habitats for otters.