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Maintaining our beautiful campus for staff, students, the public and the resident wildlife.

What we do

We keep the campus looking great and make sure it is fit for purpose. Our work includes grounds maintenance and landscaping, maintaining our sports pitches and surfaces and monitoring our flora and fauna.

Read our Landscape Management Plan

Contact us

Facilities Helpdesk

+44 (0)1904 325555

Grounds Team blog

Read the Grounds Team's blog to find out more about our work and what's going on around campus.

Read the blog


Apart from the River Ouse, the campus lakes are the largest bodies of water in York and attract many waterfowl. We have a mix of native and introduced species on campus and you can see some of the less camera shy ones on our Instagram.

Help with species identification can be found on the display boards around Campus West lake. If you want to feed the wildfowl, you can purchase birdfeed in our campus shops.

See our Instagram photos

Waterfowl that can be found on campus include the following species:

  • Mute swan
  • Black swan
  • Greylag, Canada, barnacle and snow geese,
  • Moorhen
  • Coot
  • Great-crested grebe
  • Heron

On Campus East, you might be lucky enough to see wading birds such as curlew, oystercatchers, lapwing, sandpiper and redshank.


Biodiversity is an important aspect of the management of the University grounds.

Over the years there have been subtle alterations to the way the landscape is managed on campus to encourage wildlife.

You can find out more about how we encourage biodiversity on campus in our Ecological Management Plan.

Read our Ecological Management Plan

How we encourage wildlife

  • Timing management operations to reduce impacts on species that may be breeding/feeding/hibernating.
  • Reducing chemical usage.
  • Practising low intervention horticulture.
  • Composting green waste.
  • Providing additional shelter for fauna by introducing nest boxes, wood stacks and habitat piles.
  • Using plants to encourage foraging insects such as bees and butterflies.

Ecological-Management-Plan-2020 (PDF , 1,800kb)

Landscape-Management-Plan-2020 (PDF , 2,905kb)

Green Flag status

The University has maintained its Green Flag status from 2013 to 2019. The Green Flag Award is the benchmark national standard for publicly accessible parks and green spaces in the United Kingdom.

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust

The University is a corporate member of the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. In becoming a member the University is helping the trust to protect wildlife across the county.

We also have ten Wildlife Trust membership cards, free to loan to staff members.

Borrow a membership card
A wildlife trust membership card will give you free entry to the Wildlife Trust's visitor attractions.To borrow one, visit the Information Centre with your staff ID.

See where you can visit

Explore more

Native tree trail

The trail doesn't include every tree native to the British Isles but it does feature around 20 native species which are all located in fairly close proximity to each other near to the centre of Campus West.

Download the Campus native tree trail (PDF , 3,041kb) 

Non-native tree trail

There are more than 50 trees featured on this trail and you may not see them all in one go, but we hope you enjoy exploring the trail and the campus in general.

Download the Campus non-native tree trail (PDF , 7,296kb)

Contact us

Facilities Helpdesk

+44 (0)1904 325555