Nature on Campus
Nestled amongst the rolling hills of the Surrey countryside, the University campus is a beautiful, leafy environment, with carefully designed gardens, vibrant green playing fields and a picturesque lake.
The landscaping is a unique and much-loved feature of the University. Before the University arrived, Stag Hill was an open stretch of meadowland, almost treeless except around the perimeter. Now our campus has over 300 different types of trees and over 1000 different species of flowers. Together they provide beautiful and engaging scenery all year round. Our outstanding tree collection plays a significant role in creating the luscious green effect of the campus, boasting varieties from all over the world. From Gold-tip Oriental Spruce to Texan Walnut and Hungarian Oak, there are over 1500 different trees spread around the grounds. Trees have been planted to celebrate birth, graduation, marriage, retirement and special events or visits; and as a memorial. One of our oldest trees can be found on the boundaries of the University and is over 100 years old.
As well as an abundance of greenery, the University is home to a striking selection of wildlife and waterfowl. At the foot of Senate House is Terry’s Pond, where you will find an array of swans, ducks, geese, cootes and moorhens. Terry’s Pond commemorates the work of Head Groundsman Terry Bennett who worked at the University from the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s. Originally a steep-sided dew pond that silted up every autumn, it was dug out as a pond in the late 1970s.
With beautiful and peaceful surroundings, the lake is an extremely popular lunchtime spot in the spring and summer months. The area provides a place away from work and study and enables people to relax within the University. When the sun is out you will often see students, staff and visitors relaxing on the banks of the lake, taking time out to chat with friends, read a book, or simply feed the ducks left-over sandwich crusts. Venture away from the banks of the lake and you will spot local birds nesting in the nearby trees. At present there are 42 nest boxes positioned around the campus to encourage the birds to nest. In addition foxes, rabbits, hedgehogs and badgers are all frequent visitors to the grounds of the nearby Manor Park and Hazel Farm Courts of Residence.