Aerial view of campus

Grounds Maintenance

The University estate covers 560 acres (227 ha), encompassing grassland, playing fields, woodlands and even a lake.

The Grounds and Clean Team at Lancaster University is responsible for maintaining a number of the distinctive elements of the Campus. The general maintenance of the campus landscape encompasses all grassed and shrub areas, paths and hedges, trees and woodland margins, and areas of water including Lake Carter. The second major area of maintenance is grass and synthetic sports surfaces. The Clean Teams' role is to ensure that the campus is clean as possible by removing litter, sweeping both perimeter and inner roads, emptying bins and sweeping all hard paved areas. The present establishment for both sections is 12 staff; this includes 8 Grounds Staff, including the Grounds Supervisor and 4 Clean Team Operatives.

The University estate is 560 acres (227 ha) in size, partly used by buildings, roads and other hard surfaces such as footpaths and car parks. This still leaves a great deal for the Team to maintain. However, there are certain areas and tasks surrounding some of the more recent property developments that are the responsibility of the University Private Partnership (UPP); UPP landscape features are not evaluated here.

The University Grounds & Clean Team is responsible for the maintenance of the majority of the campus landscape, this includes:

  • 390,000m² of grass to cut
  • 278,000m² of woodland to monitor and maintain
  • 4,000m² of shrub beds to tend
  • 4,000m² of hedge to keep trimmed
  • 108 refuse bins and 40 recycling units to empty on a daily basis
  • 84,000m² of hard surfaced areas to sweep on a daily basis


Trees are a major feature of the landscape at Lancaster and, particularly through the winter months, the section's work is taken up with their maintenance, whether this is pruning or simply collecting the huge volume of leaf litter deposited by them annually. In 2008 a campus-wide tree survey was undertaken to primarily report on the condition. This has been used to formulate a 5-year maintenance plan 2010-2015 for the tree stock. This visual survey is repeated on an annual basis.

Download the latest version of the University's Woodland Management Plan to see first hand how the campus landscape is planned to change over the coming years.

Woodland Management Plan

Lake Carter

The lake is a very important feature of the campus. Its total surface area is now over 6,500 m² with a capacity of 7,800m³ (2 million gallons) of water. It is the responsibility of the Grounds Section to maintain the lake and improve its currently stressed ecosystem.

Sports Pitches

The University has around 12.5 acres of grass sports fields, comprising 6 football pitches and 2 rugby pitches, and two synthetic pitches used for both football and hockey. The Grounds Team also regularly visit the Boathouse in Lancaster to maintain the surroundings, as well as work on the off-campus residencies at Chancellors Wharf also in the City.

Winter Cleaning

An important aspect of Grounds Section work is that of winter snow clearing and gritting. During the winter months, the staff of the section are formed into teams on a rota basis that attend early in the morning to spread rock salt when snow or frost is forecast.

Removal of Timber from Campus Woodlands

Under no circumstances should cut or fallen timber be removed from the woodlands on campus. Not only is this a safety concern for those involved but it is also removing essential habitat material for insects and mammals as well as disturbing the important ground floral.

Security are constantly monitoring the woodland and will take action if they come across anybody removing timber.

Any issues or requests relating to the Grounds should be reported via the Facilities Helpdesk.

Download the Grounds Teams Landscape Maintenance Plan to find out more about the operational maintenance and management of the University grounds.

Landscape Maintenance Plan