The University has a commitment to manage and protect the biodiversity assets on our estate. The University’s Environmental Policy includes a commitment to monitor the biodiversity value of the estate and since 2012 we have had a specific Biodiversity Policy. Read our policies: Policies Webpage

Brayford Pool

The Brayford Pool campus is located in the heart of the city centre and is an urban area. However, the site has considerable importance for biodiversity. The site is surrounded by waterways (River Witham, Brayford Pool, Foss Dyke, Delph Drain etc.) which act as green corridors – supporting the movement of wildlife through the city centre. The University has conducted a number of surveys on the biodiversity value of the campus and these have shown that the site supports some locally important aquatic plants.

The site also hosts a wide variety of bird species, including house sparrow, pied wagtail, moorhen, coot, mute swan and sparrowhawk. Animals that have been seen on campus include roe deer, hedgehogs, grass snakes, bats, common lizards, common newts, foxes, and grey squirrels. In recent years, a pair of mating otters have been spotted in the Brayford, it is believed that these are the pair released in the River Trent who made their way down the Foss Dyke and have now made a home in the area. Previously, naturalist Chris Packham supported the Brayford Campus Bioblitz – learn more about the day here.

A Hedgehog Friendly Campus

In 2019, we were one of the first universities in the country to join the Hedgehog Friendly Campus initiative. We want to make our campus hog-friendly, through the education of how you can help hedgehogs, joining in and promoting national campaigns such as Hedgehog Awareness Week and by making the environment in which they live as safe and welcoming as we can.

Since then, we’ve gone on to achieve the Bronze, Silver, and most recently Gold award. We are one of the first universities in the country to reach this level of the campaign and are thrilled to be helping hedgehogs in our city.

You might be wondering what a Hedgehog Friendly Campus looks like, you can find out more on our project page below:

Image of a "slow down, hedgehog area" red road sign on a post next to a country road

Delph Pond

Did you know that the Delph Pond, located outside the Isaac Newton Building, is an integral part of Lincoln’s flood defences? It has the capacity to store surface water in the event of a flood, however due to silt build up it does need to be dredged every 5-8 years. It takes water from both sides of the railway line using the gullies under the railway line which bring water from the Brayford North into the Delph Pond.

Twice a year, the vegetation around the edge of the water is cut back. The Internal Drainage Board, who own and manage the Delph Pond, do this to enable access to the pond and dredge it. This removes excess silt and ensures the water can flow freely through the channels across campus and store surface water in the event of a flood. Whenever the foliage is cut back, the Drainage board work with the University to ensure that species living there aren’t affected. 

The Delph Canal links up to the ponds by the hockey pitch, behind the 5-aside pitches and the Pavillions; it also goes back under the railway line and up to the pumping station at the Pyewipe. It is also home to a number of different species, have you spotted the moorhens or kingfisher?   

Questions or concerns related to the upkeep of the Delph Pond should be directed to

Riseholme Park

The Riseholme Park campus is an area of landscaped parkland, woodland and agricultural fields around two miles to the north of the centre of Lincoln. It has a number of important habitat areas and protected species – including great crested newts, badgers and water voles.

There are several projects running at the campus to encourage biodiversity.

  • Wildflower meadow management – a project investigating the use of mowing as management of wildflower meadows
  • The butterfly garden – a small garden encouraging butterflies as pollinators
  • “Tall Thrift” wildflower conservation – a community project in collaboration with the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust in propagating tall thrift wildflowers

Wildflowers for wildlife

From June 2020, we’ve left some grassy areas on the Brayford to grow long to provide respite for birds and insects. These include:

  • The bank behind the Stephen Langton Building
  • The grass surrounding the Delph Pond
  • The Kitchen garden

Wildflowers that have been seen in these areas include poppies and Bee Orchids.  Bee orchids (Ophrys apifera) can be found in the Kitchen Garden behind Witham House and have previously flowered around the Delph Pond on the Brayford Pool Campus. These areas are managed with support from our Landscaping team.

A Wildflower Meadow is managed separately behind the Joseph Banks Laboratories.

Get Involved

You can take part in the following activities to monitor the biodiversity at the Brayford Pool campus:

  • Swan Watch – Researchers at the University of Lincoln have launched a new project appealing for help from the public to collect data on Lincoln’s iconic swan population. Members of the public can register to download an app (Epicollect5) and log their own sightings of swans in and around Lincoln. More information here: Help Researchers Learn More About and Protect Lincoln’s Iconic Swans
  • University Birdwatch Challenge – record how many birds you can see around campus
  • Biodiversity Index – a mapping project to record habitat types

For more information on these schemes, email Additionally, you can get involved in any of the environment volunteer activities hosted by the SU, or you can get out into the community and help RiverCare with their Community Clean Up programs.