The Big Biodiversity Conversation

Join the Sussex community to realise our collective vision of creating the most biodiverse university in the UK.

How you’re helping us shape our decisions

In March 2022, we started a Big Biodiversity Conversation among the Sussex community, to help us to work together to improve the biodiversity of our campus and achieve a biodiversity net gain.

The first stage of the conversation gave you, our community, the opportunity to suggest practical biodiversity projects on or around campus. This culminated in a workshop attended by over 50 staff, students, and external stakeholders, who chose five practical biodiversity projects to receive a share of £20,000 of funding.

We are now working with staff and students to bring these projects to life. You can read more about these projects and our recent biodiversity work.

The second stage of our Big Biodiversity Conversation centers around our consultation on how much land we should set aside for nature. ‘Land set aside for nature’ refers to areas of land that are either not managed or are managed at a low level to encourage nature to develop. This could involve passive rewilding, where management is removed to allow nature to decide how the habitat develops over time.

See below to find out how you can take part in the consultation. This consultation closes on the 28 December.

Wildflowers on campusHelp us to increase the area of campus land set aside for nature

Our campus already has an amazing 38% of land set aside for nature and now we’re committing to setting aside 40%, 45% or 50% of campus land.

We’re sharing maps of how this could possibly look for our campus, as well as what land is currently used for nature.

Now we want to hear your views – have we highlighted the right areas?

View our maps and tell us what you think.

Why we’re doing this

The National Academy of Sciences has confirmed that we are currently in the sixth mass extinction as a result of the loss of biodiversity. So we are working hard to achieve a biodiversity net gain.

Our location in the Sussex South Downs National Park and UNESCO biosphere means we have a unique opportunity and a responsibility to make our campus as biodiverse as possible.

While we already have passive rewilding zones and low management wildflower-rich areas, our goal of being the most biodiverse campus in the UK means we must do more.

You can read more about our Biodiversity Policy and Draft Strategy [PDF 436KB] and about our environmental sustainability goals in our Sustainability Strategy.

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