The UEA’s campus has won a Green Flag Award for the quality of its outdoor spaces, making this the fourth consecutive year that the university has achieved the prize.
The Green Flag Award, launched in 1996, is internationally recognised and aims to ensure that everyone can have access to high quality green spaces. It also seeks to acknowledge the managers, staff and volunteers who maintain them.
With government covid restrictions limiting indoor social interaction, many students believe that having well kept outdoor areas available to them at university is particularly important this year.
First year student, Becky, told Concrete “It’s been so helpful to have green outdoor spaces easily accessible to me for exercise, and for being able to meet up with people that I otherwise might not have been able to meet.”
In addition to enabling students to socialise during the pandemic, outdoor areas are also important for students’ mental health.
English literature student, Immy, said “I think having high quality outdoor spaces is important, not just for meeting friends but also for people’s wellbeing.”
The 360 acres of accessible land on campus include woodland, meadows and marshland, with wildlife trails open to the public running through these areas. There are over 5,000 different species of plants and animals to be found on campus (108 of which are rare or endangered).
Tom Everett, Landscape Manager in the Estates team, told the UEA “We know how much green spaces matter to our students, staff and visitors and how – particularly during these challenging times – access to quality, open spaces is key for all of us.”
The UEA is one of 23 UK universities to win the Green Flag Award this year.