Lancaster University


ECOWoods: Growing a future

ECOWoods is an environmental initiative that engages students in the reinstatement of a natural habitat mosaic on Lancaster University land to promote biodiversity, whilst providing small student groups with safe, outdoor volunteering and connection with others to help mental and physical wellbeing.

Taking 4 hectares of Lancaster University land, that was previously used and damaged by grazing cattle and sheep, Green Lancaster runs ECOWoods as a weekly student and staff engagement group, to regenerate the land by planting over 5500 mixed species deciduous woodland trees, encourage biodiversity and the return of small mammals, birds, and insects to the area.

The project has engaged over 300 students, staff and young people and members of the community each year with positive benefits on health and wellbeing and nature connectedness. The estimated environmental benefits are the sequestration of 33 tonnes CO2e over 4 years. This is equivalent to 70 passenger flights London to Singapore.

Annual carbon savings achieved with the initiative:

Top 3 Learnings

  1. We have created a significant boost for nature and biodiversity via natural regeneration at Lancaster.
  2. Our year-round, weekly ECOWoods volunteer programme has boosted student community cohesion and wellbeing.
  3. We have sparked the imagination for how the University land can be used as a natural climate solution.
3 - Good Health and Well-Being 13 - Climate Action 15 - Life on Land 17 - Partnerships for the Goals
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