Biodiversity and Conservation

Flowers on Penglais Campus

Read about our current biodiversity projects and policies below.

Biodiversity Policies

With the University's roots being planted firmly in agriculture, it is vital to us that biodiversity and conservation are at the forefront of what we do. 

Our biodiversity progress report can be found here: Biodiversity and Resilience of Ecosystems Progress Report 2022.

Read our biodiversity plan here: Aberystwyth University Biodiversity Plan (July 2017)


Biodiversity Surveying

To ensure we are caring for our estate as best we can, we are investing in a biodiversity survey to be taken out in Spring 2024.

This will involve targeted surveys to identify both general and priority species and habitats, which in turn will generate a habitat map of University land. 

This is vital to recognise our high biodiversity areas, and to generate specific land enhancement plans in order to preserve the species and habitats around us. 

Tree Planting Scheme

Tree Planting Scheme 

Our Tree Planting Scheme, under the Glastir Woodland Creation Scheme, involves the planting of between 90,000-120,000 native broadleaf trees over 30 ha of unproductive agricultural land to enhance biodiversity, reduce soil erosion and increase carbon sequestration. 

The tree species include alder, rowan, sessile oak, aspen, silver birch, bird cherry, wild cherry, crab apple, sycamore, downy birch, goat willow and hazel. There will also be a small number of Scots pine included in the planting mix.

Phase 1 of our tree planting scheme has been completed in 2023, with 16,000 native broadleaf trees planted across 3 sites. Once mature, this woodland is expected to increase the university's carbon sequestration by around 16tCO2e per annum.

Phase 2 of our project, dependent on approval, will see that an additional 60,000 native broadleaf trees are planted across the Rhydyronnen site over the coming winter. This will further enhance biodiversity and potentially sequester an additional 60tCO2e of carbon. 

This project also supports the goals outlined by our Towards Net Zero Carbon 2030 Strategy by increasing carbon sequestration across our estate. 

Wildflower Meadows on Campus

Wildflower Meadows on Campus

Our grounds team have been maintaining wildflower meadows across campus since they were initially planted in 2016. 


No Mow May - 2024

This May, AU will be participating in Plantlife's No Mow May.

Across campus, many grassy areas will be left to grow for the entire month, with some sites being left longer term. 

This links in with wider biodiversity works across the campus, and is helping to provide a habitat for pollinators and small mammals during the spring months, a crucial period for the success of invertebrate species across the UK. 

Read more here. 

Nature Positive Pledge

Nature Positive means to stop or revert any negative changes to the environment and its ecosystems, so that healthier ecosystems can emerge

Aberystwyth signed the Nature Positive Pledge in early 2023, and through using our Aberystwyth University Biodiversity Plan (July 2017) as our baseline, in addition to our Biodiversity and Resilience of Ecosystems Progress Report 2022, we have been able to track our progress and set new targets. 

We hope that our future biodiversity projects can further improve species diversity, richness and ecosystem stability. 

Read more about Nature Positive here