The university’s largest of its five worldwide campuses, Whiteknights, has been awarded a prestigious Green Flag Award again this year, following a vote as one of the best green spaces in the UK.
2018 marks the eighth consecutive year that Whiteknights Campus has received the award, thanks to the long-standing effort and hard work that the university’s maintenance and management teams have put into ensuring that Whiteknights is the natural haven that it is today.
The award, presented annually by the Green Flag Award Scheme, serves as a recognition of the best public outdoor spaces across the world, and celebrates the quality of the landscape and the work that has gone into crafting the grounds and keeping them in perfect condition.
The University of Reading is one of a select few UK universities to have won the award in 2018, with some of the others being Bristol, Sussex, Nottingham Trent and the University of East Anglia. Within Reading Borough, the only other places to have been given the award this year are Caversham Court and Woodford Park.
Even after having lived on campus for a year, I am still constantly discovering new places on Whiteknights. The vast range of landscape across the campus varies from the untouched wilderness of an island inhabited only by birds in the middle of the lake, to the pristine grandeur of the topiary and flower borders in the Harris Garden.
Of our campus, Consumer Behavior and Marketing student Rachel Osborne said: “I love being on campus because I’m always a five minute walk away from the beautiful lake and green spaces. It makes me really proud to be on a campus that’s achieved the Green Flag Award as it’s great to know the university cares as much as I do about its environmental impact!”
Aimee, who studies Physics and Mathematics, added: “We always need more green spaces for the environment and for the peace of mind that you need when you’re studying. I was surprised that not many unis have green spaces, so it’s great that Reading have won the award.”
As the new year begins and the pressures of academia set in, it is a blessing to have the opportunity to step out of our bedrooms or lecture theatres and be only a short stroll away from 123 hectares of natural beauty, whatever the season.
It has been proven in numerous psychological studies that spending time in nature has immensely positive effects on one’s mental health. It can be a wonderfully refreshing and welcome break to walk down to the lake and see the geese and swans, wander around the streams and pools in the Harris Garden, or immerse yourself in the conservation meadows and woodlands next to it. Enjoying the greenness of this nature-filled campus may be just the thing to revitalise yourself before getting back to writing that particularly irascible essay, or simply to peacefully recharge and slow down after the whirlwind fortnight that is Freshers’.