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Environment and Energy

Across the month of April we are turning the spotlight on the important topic of biodiversity.

Biodiversity is the “wealth of wildlife” – the number and abundance of species - incorporating both rare and common species and habitats; all of which play a vital role in ecosystems.

Unfortunately biodiversity has declined sharply in recent years. This decline has many impacts, damaging ecosystem services such as soil formation, nutrient recycling, climate regulation and flood control.

As a University, we are committed to being a leading organisation within the sector in limiting negative and, where possible, having positive direct and indirect impacts on biodiversity and natural ecosystems so that the University’s practical performance in this area matches its aspirations to be a global leader in conservation and food security research.

After assessing our impact we now have a Biodiversity Baseline Report and are currently working on a Biodiversity Action Plan, which will guide our biodiversity actions for the next few years. A summary of the Biodiversity Baseline Report will be published on our website in the coming weeks.

This April we would also like you to think about how you engage with wildlife around you. We have arranged a number of events that will make us all appreciate and wonder at the world around us.

Click on the links below to book your place.

Take a walk on the wild side

We are fortunate to have access to wonderful wild spaces quite close to where we work, and during Spotlight on Biodiversity month we plan to make the most of this.


Date and time

Lichen walk leaving from Greenwich House

9 April 12.00pm

Adam’s Road Sanctuary walk from Centre for Mathematical Sciences

11 April 12.00pm

Nature walk from University Centre

16 April 12.00pm

West Cambridge walk from Cavendish Laboratory

25 April 12.00pm

Nature walk from Sidgwick Site

29 April 12.00pm

Addenbrookes walk from CRUK

30 April 12.00pm


Bring along your lunch and your curiosity. Staff who would like to collect species data on these walks are encouraged to download the irecord app on their phones before the day.

If you would like to advertise a walk in your department, you can download the poster below and fill out the details of your local walk.

Nature walk poster

Figure 1: Nature walk poster

Wildlife Wednesday photo competition

On Wednesday 10 April we would like staff to photograph the nature that they see during their workday. Primroses, pheasants, rabbits or a beautiful oak tree, it doesn’t matter. We want to see it all. Tag us on social media with the hashtag #camwildlife (CUEnvironment on Facebook and CambridgeSust on Twitter and Instagram) with details of the photo location and a brief description.

The best staff photograph will win a family day out in the Cambridge University Botanic Garden and the best student photograph will win a £25 voucher.


Figure 2: Wildlife photography

Participate in the World’s oldest celebration of citizen science

Cambridge Natural History Society are showcasing specimens from across the region at NatHistFest: 100th Conversazione. This is a free public exhibit. It takes place in the Conversation Science Lab in the Department of Zoology.


Date and time

NatHistFest: 100th Conversazione

12 April 1.00pm – 6.00pm


Explore biodiversity in your everyday life

As we rush through life it can be easy for us to ignore the nature that surrounds us each day. The Biodiver-city workshop is designed to help attendees engage more with wildlife each day and to appreciate what surrounds them using drawing. The workshop is a fun and creative hour that will be hosted in the impressive surrounds of the Museum of Zoology.


Date and time

Biodiver-city workshop Museum of Zoology

17 April 12.00pm


Be mindful in nature

Studies show that nature not only provides us with the ecosystem services we need, but being in nature can also calm our spirit; reducing our cortisol and blood pressure.

In conjunction with the Counselling Service we are hosting a mindfulness session in the beautiful surroundings of Laundress Green. 


Date and time

Mindfulness in nature workshop Laundress Green

23 April 7.00pm


A wild cycling adventure

Not content to just enjoy wildlife in the city, we have organised a guided lunchtime cycle to Trumpington Meadows and Byron’s Pool. Come along to hear how the meadow was established and how it has made an impact on local biodiversity.


Date and time

Guided cycle to Trumpington Meadows (meet at Engineering)

26 April 12.00pm


Embrace your inner scientist

The Cambridge Botanical Gardens along with the Museum of Zoology are hosting a Bioblitz. Go along to help the Botanical Gardens count as many species as possible in 24 hours. There will be opportunities to try pond-dipping, moth-trapping, to go on a bug hunt, and at night there will be a bat walk.

This is a family friendly event.


Date and time

Bioblitz 2019 with the Museum of Zoology

27 – 28 April


If you want to organise an event in your department, this guidance may provide you with some ideas.