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University of Sussex promises to give 42 per cent of campus land to nature

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University of Sussex promises to give 42 per cent of campus land to nature


The University of Sussex has announced plans to set aside almost two-fifths of campus land to nature by 2027, as part of an update to its biodiversity strategy.

The university said it had decided to increase its nature target from covering 38 per cent of its land to 42 per cent of the campus, after running a consultation with staff and students.

The consultation, which launched in December 2022, was part of an ongoing campaign from the university centred on how to boost biodiversity on campus, entitled the ‘Big Biodiversity Conversation’.

To reach its objective, the institution plans to work towards annual targets which will be designed to ensure it can achieve both biodiversity net gain goals and increase the percentage of land set aside for nature.

The organisation has also pledged to identify, monitor, and protect any species with habitats on the Sussex campus categorised as vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered from next summer.

“Following an extensive consultation with staff and students, we are now working towards ensuring that 42 per cent of land will be set aside for nature on our campus by 2027,” said professor Sasha Roseneil, vice-chancellor at the University of Sussex. “Our commitment to biodiversity is woven through the fabric of research, education and extra-curricular student experience at Sussex. In the years to come, I am optimistic that we may even see half of the campus land devoted to biodiversity.”

The University is in the process of deignating all its land into four categories: amenities management land, which will be managed and mowed eight times a year; reduced mowing areas which will be mowed a maximum of three times a year; low-management areas, which will be mown only once a year to promote biodiversity; and finally, “non-intevention zones”, where passive rewilding will take place.

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