Sustainable UCL


Design and create a garden to boost biodiversity at UCL

31 March 2015


The Sustainability Team and UCL IoE Gardening Project are offering staff and students the chance to design and create one of four biodiversity-boosting raised beds in Sarah's Garden on the roof terrace at the UCL Institute of Education.

This competition is an opportunity to help make a positive impact to local biodiversity, put your design skills to good use, and to get your hands dirty. If you haven't come across the student-led UCL IoE Gardening Project before, you can find out more here

You’ll need to submit a plan for your raised bed, explaining how it meets some essential criteria. The four winning designers will then each get a raised bed, funds and support to create their gardens. Each of the four raised beds is 2.4 metres long and 1.2 metres wide. A budget of up to £50 will be provided to each of the four winning designers to help create their bed, and maintain it over a year. If needed, small cold frames can be provided to help raise seedlings too.

You'll need to consider:

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  • What plants or objects to include in your 2.4m x 1.2m raised bed (see images right). This could include use of hides, herbs, flowers or edible plants, etc.
  • How these elements will support local wildlife and biodiversity.
  • How it’ll look. You'll have to draw or visualise your design to show how you’d set it out. 

We’ll judge your design on four criteria:

  • How effectively it could support local biodiversity.
  • How visually appealing it is.
  • How effectively it uses the raised bed and budget provided.
  • Any interesting or engaging features (i.e. inclusion of educational elements, use of recycled materials, interactivity, etc.)

Submit your design

To submit your design, please send a proposal of no more than 1000 words outlining how your design meets the criteria above, along with drawings or designs to Alex Green. The competition is open to both UCL staff and students. The closing date is 5pm, Friday 8th May. 

If you'd like to find out more about the gardens, and the growing environment, please contact Garden Project Team Leader Susan McGrath. And if you'd like to have a look at the gardens to get inspired, find out more about visiting times

Please note: this competition is to both design and create a bed. Gardening requires commitment, so only enter if you’re willing to maintain your garden. By entering the competition, you give permission for Sustainable UCL and the UCL IoE Garden project to use your submissions online and in print. The IoE Garden project reserves the right not to give awards if submissions are deemed unsuitable for the space.