Campus 2022
Campus 2022

Biodiversity on campus - outline for the future

The joint biodiversity policy (2020) of Radboud University and Radboudumc includes several objectives: biodiversity restoration, climate adaptation, nature-inclusive building, human-nature interaction and monitoring. What opportunities there are to strengthen biodiversity on campus over the next ten years have now been articulated in a vision for biodiversity, the 'groenblauwe structuurvisie'.

Future sketch

The sketch below is the representation of this vision of biodiversity. The map shows the ideal future image of the campus. This is what the campus can be like when all opportunities for strengthening biodiversity have been exploited. Download the pdf for a larger image with detailed explanation.

Biodiversiteitsvisie Radboudcampus

In this vision, campus nature is taken for granted. Intervention takes place only where it is really necessary. Ecological processes such as forest development and natural water management are guiding.

In this vision, campus nature is self-evident. Intervention takes place only where it is really necessary. Ecological processes such as forest development and natural water management are leading. The current mosaic of mixed forest, park forest and grassland will remain. The forest will continue to age over the coming years, dead trees will be included in the cycle and the species diversity will continue to increase under the influence of ecological processes. The transitions from forest to open land are softer, with mantles and hems between forest and grassland. The campus is an important new biotope for animals and plants. A habitat for insects, small mustelids, birds, hedgehogs, amphibians and small rodents. Many rhododendrons gave way to native trees and shrubs.

Existing valuable sparse grasslands and flowery meadows were connected, the areas expanded. Locally, relief has been introduced and sandy areas kept open. Wild bees nest in the soil and, in time, sand lizards will also benefit. Water features are artificial, but they provide ecological diversity. Rainwater infiltrates cleanly into the soil. New and, where possible, existing buildings, host places for building-dwelling species, including various species of bats, swifts and house sparrows.

Opportunities for strengthening biodiversity

The site managers' current approach has for years focused on strengthening biodiversity on campus. Aspects such as safety (e.g. fire safety when there is a lot of dry vegetation), functionality (e.g. short mown grass for recreation) and manageability are inexorable preconditions in this regard. But even with these preconditions, there are many more opportunities to achieve the biodiversity policy objectives mentioned earlier. In the woods, on the grasslands, pools and ponds but also in the built-up areas of the campus.

Principeschets bos


Where possible, woods and lanes are given the chance to age, they are left alone as much as possible, thus increasing biodiversity. Dead trees and branches are left lying around and can function as overwintering places for amphibians, as shelters for small rodents but at the same time as food for, for example, weasels and owls.

Scarce native plant species are replanted and exotics that do not belong here are reduced in number. Like the rhododendron, for instance. This has cultural-historical value but little value for biodiversity. By replacing it in designated places with low trees and shrubs, the so-called cloak vegetation, other species are given more space and the area attracts all kinds of insects and small animals such as martens, mice, hedgehogs and birds.

Grass and pasture

Even more extensive mowing than now will increase the number of flowers and insects. The sand lizard, sand bees and hottentotilla, a species of fly, are lured by the creation of relief, sandy patches and steep edges. Mowed footpaths in larger patches of grassland create open sand and keep people away from the rest of the grassland.

Principeschets poelen en vijvers

Pools, ponds and wadis

Low-lying areas are suitable for creating new pools. This attracts amphibians, dragonflies and other waterbound animals, plants and bank vegetation. Different species live in and around pools that dry up than pools that have permanent water. A forest of branches near a pond provides a wintering place for the alpine newt, for instance. This allows it to stay in the same environment all year round. A new, large pond might even attract a kingfisher. A pond with sufficient depth and gentle slopes has a purifying effect, is attractive in the landscape and can have an important function as an experiential element in, for instance, a recovery walk. A new wadi offers opportunities for vegetation on moist soils and species that live around drying pools, such as dragonflies.

Principeschets gebouwen

Built environment

Buildings can also contribute to enhancing biodiversity on campus with the right approach. Nature-inclusive (re)construction will always be an important part of campus developments. Buildings with, for example, sedum or grass roofs and gelvel vegetation are more attractive to humans and animals. Bird and bat enclosures can be placed on existing buildings as well as in new buildings. Greening of car parks and construction of ecological links and corridors increase the habitat of various species. Drinking spots, native naturalising vegetation, herbs and berry-bearing shrubs make indoor gardens of buildings more lively as birds and insects will flock to them. This greening of the built environment will also have a beneficial effect on heat stress in summer.

Healthy environment

And so, within the foreseeable future, the area on and around the campus can become a green hotspot in Nijmegen, with the green infrastructure geared towards experiences for students, patients, employees and other users. A leading place of restoring the connection between people and nature that fits seamlessly with one of the pillars of the joint sustainability policy: create a healthy environment.

On behalf of the biodiversity project group, Bureau Stroming articulated the biodiversity vision. The biodiversity project group consists of staff from Radboudumc and Radboud University. In working out the vision, Bureau Stroming worked closely with stakeholders from Radboud University, Radboudumc and other stakeholders such as local residents, Nijmegen municipality and water company Vitens. The vision was presented in September 2022.

Contact information

Organizational unit
Campus & Facilities