News Release

Addressing sustainability in a round-about way

Nestled in the heart of the University of Warwick campus, lies Britain’s 2024’s Roundabout of the Year. It has been recognised for its colourful kaleidoscope of vibrant flowers that supports a flourishing ecosystem of bees, butterflies

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University of Warwick

Warwick university close up pic 1 by Chris Headon

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Credit: credit Chris Headon

One of the University of Warwick’s picturesque roundabouts has been crowned Roundabout of the Year 2024, recognising its impact on promoting biodiversity and protecting the local ecosystem of bees, butterflies, and insects.

Featured in ‘The Best of British Roundabouts Calendar 2024’, the roundabout has captivated the UK Roundabout Appreciation Society judges with its design and the inclusion of diverse plant species of Centaurea cyanus, Bellis perennis, Narcissus, Camassia, and Alliums.

This recognition highlights the University of Warwick’s dedication to enhancing the overall appeal and functionality of its campus.  The Garden team has worked hard to combine design with practicality so that the University’s planted areas are both aesthetically pleasing and enhance the local ecosystem.

Warwick University, founded on farmland in 1965, has transformed into a cutting-edge 200-hectare campus that embraces biodiversity. Resembling a thriving mini city, the campus combines wildlife areas, including ancient woodlands and a specially planted nature reserve to mark the millennium.

As climate change challenges us all in the UK our wildlife needs places of shelter and resources to help it survive in extreme weather. Last summer’s heat wave and protracted winter caused stress on the ecosystem and gardeners at Warwick are working hard to ensure the University’s green spaces are designed to improve biodiversity while integrating nature into urban spaces.

The University of Warwick is committed to protecting and enhancing campus biodiversity and recognises the urgent need to provide suitable habitats for plants, insects, and animals to flourish amidst the challenges of climate change. The campus serves as a diverse patchwork of interconnected habitats, fostering wildlife through sensitive management.

Dr. Dave Chandler, a lecturer in entomology and ecology at Warwick’s School of Life Sciences, emphasises the importance of managing these green spaces for wildlife: “In many ways, the University campus represents much of modern Britain, where we need to manage green spaces in urban areas so that people in towns and cities can live alongside nature.

“Even in small spaces, such as roundabouts, the planting of diverse flowers, that attract insects, and other pollinators, are a crucial resource for the many species of bees and other insects that inhabit the campus and also act as food for a range of animals including birds and bats, which in turn affect the whole of the biodiversity in the campus area.”

Renowned for his remarkable contribution to celebrating British roundabouts, Kevin Beresford, President of the Roundabout Association and creator of the Best of British Roundabouts series, has been on a twelve-month quest to discover the nation's most extraordinary circular intersections.

He commented: “The University of Warwick roundabout stood out among the rest due to its unwavering commitment to environmental sustainability.

“Through meticulous planning and sustainable practices, this traffic circle serves as a reminder of the power of conservation and the beauty of nature in the UK. It is a vibrant testament to the harmonious coexistence of nature and human innovation.”

Kevin Beresford's latest creation, Best of British Roundabout Calendar 2024, serves as a captivating tribute to the artistry and enchanting beauty found in everyday landscapes. Featuring a diverse range of scenes, from awe-inspiring sculptures in Grimsby to the serene honey-coloured stone fountain in Bath, the calendar showcases the vibrant roundabout designs that are thriving across the UK.

Kelly Baker, Grounds and Gardens Manager, who leads the grounds and gardens team at the University of Warwick takes pride in the remarkable planting efforts that have contributed to this achievement.

She said, "We are deeply honoured to receive the Roundabout of the Year 2024 title, especially for our role in enhancing biodiversity."

"By initiating re-wilding efforts on our campus, creating wildlife-friendly areas, and restoring natural habitats, we are contributing to the preservation of our ecosystem. Our strategic selection and arrangement of plants and flowers ensure a continuous display of bloom and foliage throughout the seasons, promoting ecological balance and integrating nature into our urban spaces."


Notes to editor

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Picture credits

Warwick uni close up pic 1 by Chris Headon

Warwick uni close up pic 2 by Chris Headon (available on request)

Warwick uni rbt far zoom by Kingfisher Whisper Photographer

Cover of the calendar back and front (available on request).


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