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Biodiversity

Grow Your Own   |   Green Flag   |   Wildlife Cameras   |   Lennoxvale Tree Nursery Project   |   DKB Orchard

Queen's Community thinks Green during Self-isolation

Queen's staff and students are continuing to think green whilst self-isolating! The QUB community have been challenged to take part in a Grow Your Own (GYO) competition, and the responses have been very impressive.

Lockdown provides you with the opportunity to get outside, and start growing your own fruit and vegetables. 

For more information on how to start growing your own fruit and veg click here.

While planting out your veg patch or pots do not forget to feed the bees! Check out what you can do to help bees in your garden here.

Below are a few top tips from Queen's Head Gardener, Paul Wallace:

  • Consider growing courgettes as they are very easy to grow, a large crop is produced, and you can make a range of delicious meals from them! Make sure you sow them on their sides (so the seeds do not rot), keep them well fed with tomato feed (they are a hungry veg) and keep them warm until they have sprouted.
  • Paul's top 10 pollinators for bees! Antirrhinum (“snap dragon”), Aquilegia, Borage, Chives, Hellenium, Hollyhock, Lavender, Rosemary, Thyme and Echinops (“Globe thistle”).

If you do decide to take part make sure you send the Environmental Team regular updates via the QUB Sustainable Champions Teams Group. Check out what staff and students have been up to below:

Green Flag

Queen's University Belfast has been awarded a prestigious Green Flag Award in the 2019 Green Flag Awards – becoming the first university in Northern Ireland to be recognised by the scheme. Hosted at Queen's this year on Tuesday 23 July 2019, the Green Flag Awards are judged annually by a panel of experts who volunteer their time to assess the management plans and the applicant sites through a rigorous judging process.

The Green Flag Award is the benchmark national standard for parks and green spaces in the UK. It was first launched in 1996 to recognise and reward the best green spaces in the country and is an internationally recognised certification for environmental quality management for parks and open spaces. Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, an environmental charity, runs the scheme in Northern Ireland.

The University achieved Green Flag status for its Lanyon site by having a site management plan in place and ensuring compliance with a range of strict criteria including horticultural standards, cleanliness, environmental management, biodiversity, community involvement, and safety standards.

Queen's also received its first Green Heritage Award for the Lanyon site in recognition of the site's celebration and promotion of unique elements of its heritage. Paul Wallace, Head Gardener in the University's Grounds and Gardens team, also achieved special recognition at the awards ceremony, where he was awarded 'Employee of the Year'.

For more on this, click here.

Queen’s Wildlife Cameras

A number of Staff and Student initiatives, funded via the Green Fund, are ensuring Queen's Campus is providing a range of species with 'homes'.

Queen’s University aims to be a world leader in environmental and sustainable activities by encouraging and supporting environmental behaviour change amongst staff and students.

To achieve this, raising awareness of their local environment is a priority. Queen's Wildlife Camera project, undertaken by the Porters, aims to engage and educate staff, students, and the local community about the importance of ‘green’ spaces within urban environments.

So far a range of species have been spotted! Can you identify any in the video?

Tree Nursery - Multiple

Lennoxvale Tree Nursery Project

Queen’s University, Green at Queen’s Society, The Conservation Volunteers and residents within Sans Souci are collaborating on a nature project – to create a tree nursery which will produce 1,000 trees over the next two years.

The Lennoxvale Tree Nursery launched in November 2019 with a number of staff, students, local residents and The Conservation Volunteers volunteering and implementing raised beds on the unused greenfield site. 

The project has a range of benefits:

  • Use of a site otherwise vacant – increasing biodiversity of the local area
  • Trees have a significantly positive impact on our environment – trees absorb carbon, increase biodiversity and greening the urban environment has a very positive link to mental health
  • Contributes to the wider ‘Belfast Million Trees’ project recently supported by Belfast City Council 
  • Positive collaboration of Queen's University, The Conservation Volunteers and Local Residents working together 
  • Providing staff and students with the opportunity to get involved and ‘be part’ of the local community

The School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering DKB Orchard

The School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering received £200 from the Green Fund to produce a digital timeline of their apple orchard.

The below videos show the annual lifecycle of their apple trees from dormant, in blossom, early fruit, in leaf and fruit ready to be picked.

Digital Timeline of DKB Orchard