From the open green spaces at Craiglockhart to our busy Merchiston Campus, we occupy a range of sites throughout Edinburgh and beyond. All have an array of biological diversity, which we are committed to protecting and enhancing.
The area at the back of Craiglockhart contains around 50 different plant species alone. In 2011 a Yellow Barista was found there, a record first in the Lothians. The same year held a Scottish record first sighting for Clavulinopsis cinereoides, a rare fungus in the UK and Europe.
Our last full stage one and stage three biodiversity audit took place between 2010/2011 and covered both Craiglockhart and Merchiston campuses. A further supplementary biodiversity assessment of Sighthill was also carried out. The audit, carried out by ABI Wildlife Consultancy, provided a wealth of information and an in-depth understanding of the birds, mammals and plants at the two campuses. The information gathered allowed us to strategically consider biodiversity across all campuses and allowed us to embed this aspect of work into our Environmental Sustainability Strategy.
We also have on-campus projects to help improve biodiversity around the University, including the Lions' Gate Garden permaculture project at Merchiston, and the Sighthill Gardening Club.
What's happening on campus?
Earlier this year, the Edinburgh Napier Students' Association worked together with The Lions' Gate and the Edinburgh Napier Development Office to secure £2,660 in funding from the Keep Scotland Beautiful Community Climate Asset Fund.
This funding is being used for planting, landscaping, bulbs and seeds at The Lions' Gate at Merchiston, the Sighthill Gardening Club and a new growing spaces project at Craiglockhart campus.
In May 2021, we took delivery of lots of herbs, seeds, soil, compost and water butts, as well as twenty fruit trees! Find out more about what's happening and keep up to date via the Lions' Gate blog.
The Lions’ Gate is an in-development urban, interactive, permaculture project based at Edinburgh Napier University’s Merchiston Campus. It encompasses a garden, allotment and outdoor laboratory as well as a relaxation space for students, staff and local communities to explore solutions to environmental and social issues.
The Lions’ Gate offers staff, student and community volunteer opportunities to develop permaculture, food growing and outdoor spaces to enhance wellbeing. Contact the team at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to volunteer.
Sighthill Gardening Club
The Sighthill Gardening Club was launched during Climate Week 2019 and is aimed at bringing more biodiversity to Sighthill campus while making it a more pleasant place for students, staff and visitors to enjoy.
Volunteers are invited to get involved in a number of ways, from watering, seeding and general garden care to planting flowers and trees.
The project also recycles steel chemical drums from the School of Applied Science labs at Sighthill, using them as planters for the garden. These drums would have previously gone to landfill but have now been repurposed, helping towards our sustainability goals.
Hedgehog Friendly Campus Project
Students and staff are working together to earn Hedgehog Friendly Campus accreditation for Edinburgh Napier University, raising awareness and ensuring our grounds are safe places for hedgehogs to thrive.
Find out more about the project at napier.ac.uk/environment