Biodiversity and Trees

Re-Wilding of Front Lawns for Biodiversity, 2020

In March 2020, an historic vote was put to the university and the public, asking if people would prefer to see wildflowers planted in front of Trinity rather than a grass lawn. The aspiration was to bring biodiversity to the front of Trinity, educating the public and university members on the importance of re-wilding parts of our urban areas. The campaign amassed 13,850 votes, 89% of which were in favour of the move. Planting took place the last week in July 2020 and the news story was covered by national news and international publications. See a list of the wildflower species sown.


Tree and butterfly icon1 million animal and plant species worldwide are at risk of extinction from habitat loss driven by human activities, including deforestation; overfishing; climate change; poaching; invasive species and pollution.

Biodiversity - the variety of life on Earth - is the foundation of Earth remaining a healthy planet for all of us to live on. Human consumption of natural ecosystems threatens all forms of life on Earth, including our own economies, food security and health. By recognising the value of nature and the ecosystem services it provides, we can secure a sustainable future for people and the planet. Ireland’s biodiversity has been valued at contributing a staggering €2.6 billion to the annual economy!

Our Objectives

Trinity has adopted three objectives to increase biodiversity on campus:

  1. Increase tree numbers by 10%
  2. Increase green areas
  3. Increase biodiversity rich areas by 5%

Our Sustainability Report details the progress that has been made in their implementation.

What Can I do? Data & Results Green Map

Trees of Trinity


Green Tips

Here are our top 3 green tips for restoring wildlife habitats and halting biodiversity loss:

1) Link Up

Collective action is hugely impactful -  you can link up with existing organisations such as the TCD Environmental Society, TCD Zoo Soc, the TCD Botanical Society, the Irish Wildlife Trust (IWT), the Irish Peatland Conservation Council (IPCC) or BirdWatch Ireland.

2) Let It Grow

The All-Ireland Pollinator Plan is about all of us returning land back to Nature so that plants and animals can survive, e.g. reduce mowing to six weeks during summer, plant native pollinator-friendly flowers/herbs in our gardens and stop pesticide use.

3) Shop Small and Local

Small farmers tend to have more on-farm crop diversity and hedgerow habitats than larger industrial farms, and shopping locally also reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from long-distance transport! You can find farmers markets/ local foods on our Green Map, or check into - a Trinity startup that connects people to healthier food sources.

Biodiversity icons

UN Sustainable Development Goal 12 is to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.

UN Sustainable Development Goal 13
 is to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

UN Sustainable Development Goal 14
 is to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

UN Sustainable Development Goal 15
 is to protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.

Did You Know?
As part of Trinity's Pollinator Plan, two beehives were installed on campus roofs in 2016, Trinity Hall also has three hives and two Bee Hotels for solitary bees! There are very few natural locations for bees to live within the city. Bees are essential pollinators and are responsible for pollinating 30% of the food plants that we eat on a regular basis (apples, strawberries, tomatoes, nuts, just to name a few).

Green roofs not only slow down the flood of rain water from building roofs, but also provide habitat for beneficial insects and birds. There are green sedum-planted roofs on the Long Room Hub, Lecky library, Health Centre, and Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute.

Trinity has a number of birds which are on the endangered species list, including seagulls (yes, seagulls!) and swifts. The DU Zoological Society published a book of bird species found on campus in 2016.

Trinity established a small pond on campus in 2015, to provide water and habitat for wildlife on campus. The pond is located in an area of native, wild vegetation that is protected from public access to allow native species to flourish, and is used for research purposes.