University of Northampton launches pioneering interactive Biodiversity Index
The Biodiversity Index will enable organisations with little or no knowledge of biodiversity to do a rapid but scientific assessment of the current level of plant diversity on their sites. The tool is aimed at organisations located in urban areas who wish to assess and enhance biodiversity on their land. The Index measures plant diversity during the main plant growing season (April to October in the UK) and offers advice and suggestions on how to improve the biodiversity of the different habitats on a site, together with useful web-links for further reading.
Developed as part of a sustainability project led by the University of Northampton in collaboration with the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the Biodiversity Index was officially launched at the Environmental Association for Universities & Colleges (EAUC) annual conference in Nottingham on Thursday 18 April.
Paul R. Taylor, Sustainability Manager at the University of Northampton commented: “The University is keen to promote the conservation of biodiversity on its own campuses and to help other organisations maintain their sites in an environmentally sensitive way, so the Biodiversity Index is going to be a great tool to help do this. The Index can be used year after year to monitor changes in plant diversity, and to assess how potential habitat enhancements might affect biodiversity.
It is fantastic to see members of academic staff from the University’s Natural Environment Research Group (NERG) working in partnership with staff from the University’s Infrastructure Services team to develop such an exciting and useful tool as the Biodiversity Index.”
The Index is being made available to UK Further and Higher Education Institutions free of charge. It will be made available to the broader public sector, companies and other organisations on a subscription basis from May 2013.
The Biodiversity Index will be demonstrated at the following events:
- GovToday Greening FE and HE, 1 May, London
- Facilities Show 14-16 May, Birmingham
- NHS Sustainable Development, 11 Sept, London
- GovToday Carbon Reduction, 21 November, London