Biodiversity abounds at Oxford Brookes! From installing bee hives and planting wildflowers, to leading bird inventory surveys and evening bat walks, we are busy supporting the wild side of sustainability.

In the past two years, we have seen real progress around biodiversity protection, enhancement, and delivery. However, in recognition of the global biodiversity crisis we want to increase our efforts and have delivered a new Biodiversity Strategy and Biodiversity Action Plan, with the following key objectives:

  • The creation and delivery of the new 4R hierarchy:Refrain, Reduce, Restore and Renew
    • Refrain from activities which could harm species and ecosystems
    • Reduce harm by taking steps to mitigate negative impacts
    • Restore species and ecosystems that have been harmed
    • Renew, strengthen and invigorate biodiversity via proactive effort.
  • Delivering biodiversity net gain at a minimum of +10% across our redevelopment programs.
  • Development of landscape and ecology management plans across all sites to be retained. These plans will include habitat baselines and the implementation of a robust monitoring regime.
  • Creation of internal partnerships, adoption of best practice and a Living Laboratory approach to biodiversity across our estate.
  • Creation of external partnerships and contribution to Oxford's biodiversity network, to enhance biodiversity across the city and our local community.
  • Engagement with students, staff, and the local community by providing education, training, and involvement in local initiatives and biodiversity enhancement programmes.
  • Continuing to promote biodiversity locally, nationally, and internationally through our research and teaching programmes.
Wildflowers on campus

Biodiversity Advisory Group

The Biodiversity Advisory Group will be a key forum whose purpose will be to inform and influence the development of a revised ‘Biodiversity Strategy’ and site-specific landscape and ecology management plans. To address the global biodiversity crisis through the protection and enhancement of biodiversity across the university estate and wider global aspects through our teaching and research programmes. In line with our environmental sustainability goals, the guiding principles of the emerging 2035 University Strategy and the emerging ‘Oxford Campus Vision’.

Read more about the aims of the group in the Biodiversity Advisory Group Terms of Reference


The meadow grassland opposite Westminster Halls of Residence has been allowed to grow, with the aim of increasing biodiversity on the site. An annual monitoring program is in place to review the mowing regime. The project has already delivered successes with increases in a number of key species including Bee and Pyramidal Orchids.

Due to the positive feedback from the Harcourt project, we are rolling out grassland management and reduced mowing in areas at Warneford and Crescent Halls.

Before and after photos of Harcourt

Harcourt before rewilding
Harcourt after rewilding
Harcourt after rewilding

Did you know?

  • Oxford Brookes is the first university in the world to install bee-centred Freedom Hives. You can see our tree-mounted hive and a ground mounted hive at Headington Hill campus.
  • Wildflowers are planted across sites to promote flora diversity and attract local pollinators.
  • Bird, bat, and owl boxes are installed across our campuses to provide homes for wildlife.
  • Bug hotels have been built at several campuses to welcome overwintering guests.
  • Marston Road is a Site of Local Importance for Nature Conservation with many important species such as pyramidal orchids and many rare species of fungi.
Bee Orchid

Hedgehog friendly campus

Over the past two decades hedgehogs have declined by 50% due to litter, traffic and loss of habitat.

Hedgehog Friendly Campus (HFC) is a UK-wide award scheme. Over 100 universities are signed up and we are proud to be one of them.

We currently hold a Silver Award for our Hedgehog Friendly Campus work and we're always looking for students and staff to join our happy band. The great thing is, you don’t need any previous experience or knowledge, just a love of hedgehogs.

We have large green spaces at Oxford Brookes that could provide a fantastic habitat for hedgehogs to live and thrive. The accreditation helps us to work towards improving our spaces for our prickly friends.


Become part of the team

If you have a passion for hedgehogs and would like to get involved we would love to have you in the group. You can register on the Hedgehog Friendly Campus website as members of the Oxford Brookes team (registration code:192).

Our wonderful hedgehog ambassador, Caitlin Green, has written about why litter is such an issue and a guide to helping hedgehogs.

If you’d like to ask any questions email

Surveying hedgehog tunnels

Found a hedgehog?

If you are unsure, contact:

If the hedgehog looks fine, head over to The Big Hedgehog Map and log your sighting on the Hedgehog Street website.

Hedgehog with grass in mouth

Contact us

Take a walk on the wild side

Contact us to learn about opportunities to participate in bird counts, evening bat walks and other biodiversity events.