Dr Simon Goodman has investigated the disease risks to the native Galapagos fauna.
Gold standard at Chelsea
22nd May 2012
University of Leeds takes Gold at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show with its first exhibit at the prestigious event
The garden, designed by Martin Walker, brings to life research carried out by leading academics and shows how simple changes to urban gardens can make a positive contribution to the planet.
The University's garden, which received the award for its exhibit in the Environment category, was designed to echo a 'typical' northern garden and is based on research into ecosystem services carried out by the Faculty of Environment and the Faculty of Biological Sciences.
Called Gardening for Champions!, the exhibit encourages individuals to make small changes to the way they garden, as Dr Rebecca Slack of the University's Faculty of Environment, explains: "As a University we decided to take part in Chelsea because we wanted to show how easy it was for people to become ecosystem champions; that is make a real, positive difference to their local environment."
"Of course we are absolutely delighted to have come away from our first experience of Chelsea with a medal. It's a real accolade for the whole team, but more importantly it's a great way to draw attention to the science behind the garden.
"It is estimated that gardens take up between 20-35% of space in urban areas so if we can help gardeners to make a few simple changes to their gardens, it will improve the environment for literally millions of people in the UK."
The University of Leeds Vice Chancellor, Prof Michael Arthur, added: "I'm delighted at the success of our first entry at the Chelsea Flower Show. This has been a fantastic opportunity for the University of Leeds to showcase the talent and creativity of its researchers and really shows how what we do can impact many aspects of people's lives. It has clearly been a real team effort."
The garden shows practical steps which anyone can take to look after water resources, encourage pollinators or create carbon sinks to help guard against global warming:
- Slow water is good water Rainfall that runs off fast doesn't absorb into the ground to bolster the water table and keep plants going in dry periods. In extreme cases it can cause flash flooding. Gardeners can control water flow by introducing permeable paths, which will allow water to soak in slowly; they can also store water by using water butts. Measures such as green roofs also help slow water flow.
- Bees love the natural look This goes for everything from grass that is a little longer, to flowers which have been left to resemble their wild cousins. Bedding plants sold in garden centres and double flowers (where extra doubles replace the stamen) have been bred to such an extent that they tend to have very little pollen. Longer grass is bee-friendly because clover has the chance to flower, while rotting logs and sandy soil provide ideal nesting sites for solitary bees and other insects.
- Compost not carbon Composting food waste and vegetable peelings is a great way to help turn your garden into a carbon sink. Reducing use of artificial fertilisers, growing vegetables and fruit, and planting green roofs and walls to insulate buildings also helps this process.
Working alongside Dr Slack are Professor Les Firbank, Professor Bill Kunin and Dr Gordon Mitchell, with support also given by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) which has funded much of the research into ecosystem services.
The garden represents an average urban garden, the kind found on the fringe of any northern city. A path made of permeable material will allow visitors to walk through the garden. There is a green-roofed (planted with Sedum Grass) pagoda which houses information boards to explain the function of the garden. The path and pagoda divide the garden into three areas: the vegetable and fruit bed; the shady garden common in many north-facing gardens; the rain garden planted for areas of high rainfall or water run-off.
A "bee-vision" camera and linked screen allows visitors to see the garden from the perspective of a pollinating insect.
Alan Berry, Wellcome Trust (Oct 2014), £749,865
Paul Knox, EU (Oct 2014), £167,229
Andrew Peel, BBSRC (Sep 2014), £371,598
Lars Jeuken, BBSRC (Sep 2014), £313,463
Neil Ranson, BBSRC (Aug 2014), £355,253
Stuart Egginton, BHF (Aug 2014), £271,094
Darren Tomlinson, Mike McPherson, Technology Strategy Board (Aug 2014), £98,665
Peter Henderson, Leverhulme Trust (Aug 2014), £15,222
Mike McPherson (and colleagues in the School of Chemistry), EPSRC (Jul 2014), £819,880
Peter Stockley, Neil Ranson, BBSRC (Jul 2014), £455,787
Sheena Radford, Univesity of Michigan (Jul 2014), £138,452
Ryan Seipke, British Society Antimicrobial Chemistry (Jun 2014), £11,960
John Trinick, BHF (Jun 2014), £222,614
Chris West, Leverhulme Trust (Jun 2014), £181,241
Jon Lippiat, Darren Tomlinson, BBSRC (May 2014), £125,174
Christine Foyer, Royal Society (May 2014), £24,000
David Brockwell, Sheena Radford, Medimmune Ltd (Apr 2014), £337,661
Peter Stockley, Wellcome Trust (Apr 2014), £251,019
Mike McPherson, Wellcome Trust (Apr 2014), £146,596
Andrew Macdonald, Kidney Research Fund UK (Apr 2014), £127,237
Elwyn Isaac, DEFRA (Apr 2014), £126,512
Mike McPherson (and colleagues in School of Design), Technology Strategy Board (Apr 2014), £114,350
Paul Millner, Peter Stockley, Darren Tomlinson, YCR (Apr 2014), £95,874
Carrie Ferguson, Karen Birch, Shaunna Burke, Heart Research UK (Apr 2014), £60,140
Tim Benton, Technology Strategy Board (Apr 2014), £24,969
Bill Kunin, Technology Strategy Board (Apr 2014), £21,244
Dave Westhead, MRC (Apr 2014), £18,304
Brendan Davies, BBSRC (Mar 2014), £451,829
Jim Deuchars, MRC (Mar 2014), £300,000
Urwin, Howard Atkinson, British Potato Council (Mar 2014), £69,953
Adam Kupinski, Children with Cancer (Mar 2014), £50,000
Anastasia Zhuravleva, Royal Society (Mar 2014), £14,973
Urwin, Howard Atkinson, Agriculture & Horticulture Develpmnt Brd (Mar 2014), £13,990
Alison Baker, Steve Baldwin, BBSRC (Feb 2014), £403,439
Sarah Zylinski, BBSRC (Feb 2014), £355,869
Dave Lewis, Nigel Hooper, Tony Turner, Hugh Pearson, James Duce, Alzheimer's Society (Feb 2014), £29,871
Ronaldo Ichyama, Samit Chakrabarty, International Spinal Research Trust (Jan 2014), £304,600
Brendan Davies, BBSRC/Bayer Crop Science SA-NV (Jan 2014), £470,053
Adrian Goldman, Steve Baldwin, Stephen Muench, Thomas Edwards, Arwen Pearson , BBSRC (Jan 2014), £467,103
Stefan Kepinski, BBSRC (Jan 2014), £359,269
Elwyn Isaac, EU (Jan 2014), £179,445
Dave Westhead, Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research (Jan 2014), £105,937
Eileen Ingham, Joanne Tipper, Depuy International Ltd (Jan 2014), £48,121
John Barr, Thomas Edwards, MRC (Dec 2013), £469,505
Alex O'Neill, MRC (Dec 2013), £349,017
Tim Benton, NERC (Dec 2013), £31,422
Darren Tomlinson, Yorkshire Cancer Research (Nov 2013), £142,334
Nikita Gamper, MRC (Nov 2013), £336,563
Keith Hamer, Alison Dunn, NERC (Nov 2013), £47,233
Alan Berry, Wellcome Trust (Oct 2013), £749,365
Urwin, Howard Atkinson, BBSRC (Oct 2013), £360,508
Eileen Ingham, Stacey-Paul Wilshaw, NHS R&D (Oct 2013), £356,623
Sheena Radford, BBSRC (Oct 2013), £329,906
Nigel Hooper, Alzheimer's Research (Oct 2013), £327,075
Eileen Ingham, EPSRC (Oct 2013), £276,751
David Beech, BHF (Oct 2013), £109,974
Mark Harris, Medical Research Foundation (Oct 2013), £34,455
James Dachtler, Royal Society (Oct 2013), £15,000
Ade Whitehouse, Teresa Rosenbaum Golden Charitable Trust (Oct 2013), £10,000
Jurgen Denecke, BBSRC (Sep 2013), £382,093
Andy Cuming, EU (Sep 2013), £257,714
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