For well over ten years, the University has been a sector leader in its commitment to environmental sustainability.
From the installation of its vast solar panel trackers, a first for a UK university, to consistently achieving top marks in the annual People and Planet Green League, UCLan has been an environmental standard-bearer for the University sector.
Now the construction phase of the University’s Masterplan development is underway, UCLan’s Chief Operating Officer Michael Ahern has reaffirmed the University’s commitment to a sustainable campus that in the years to come will become greener than ever before.
Our Masterplan development is based on the principle that the spaces between buildings are as important as the buildings themselves,” he explained. “We will nurture biodiverse spaces that will be green, accessible and sustainable for the enjoyment of students, staff and the general public.
Already the University has encouraged and assisted a number of local projects to create a greener campus, including the link-up of local schoolchildren with the Rotary Club of Preston Guild to plant 5000 Crocuses across campus, ready to bloom during the spring.
In addition, the University campus is home to 650 trees, made up from a variety of species. Over the course of the Masterplan development, the University aims to retain as many of these trees as possible. Indeed, it has pledged to substantially increase its stock and diversity in a manner that enhances the natural environment.
During a building project of such size and scale it is inevitable that some of our existing tree stock will be affected. Our preference is to relocate trees wherever possible but those that cannot be saved will be replaced. Students have told us they want more green space on campus, spaces to relax, meet up and chat. We also want a campus which is welcoming and inviting to the local community and the development of new and attractive green areas will help us achieve both goals.
Within UCLan’s Masterplan development a number of key space zones will be developed and in combination these will create a unified but diverse landscape that fulfils a wide range of requirements including spaces for civic gatherings, experiencing nature, hosting temporary installations or performances, outdoor meetings or sport and recreation.
Michael concluded that throughout the new spaces being planned, great care and attention would be paid to creating a biodiverse landscape for all. “Creating a welcoming environment where nature and building developments interact seamlessly is a vision we are determined to realise.”