At the University of Leicester Botanic Garden & Attenborough Arboretum, we focus on global biodiversity. You can see and learn about a wide range of plants that grow in our extensive collections from around the world.
We are fundamentally an academic institution engaged in teaching and research.
Our mission is to:
- Maintain the most diverse garden in the region, in terms of plants, conservation collections, landscape features, and historically and architecturally important buildings
- Underpin scientific research and teaching at the University
- Devise and provide education programmes aimed at all age groups, reaching out into the wider community to demonstrate the contemporary significance of plants in a rapidly changing world.
The Attenborough Arboretum is a satellite facility of the Botanic Garden. Opened on 23 April 1997 by Sir David Attenborough, it occupies about five acres in the old village of Knighton, and forms part of the land that used to belong to Home Farm.
Now swallowed up by Leicester, the Arboretum site features one of the few surviving examples in the city of a medieval ridge-and-furrow field, and also contains two large ponds, complete with a board-walk. The planting scheme is designed to display our native trees in the sequence in which they arrived in this country following the ending of the last ice-age, approximately 10,000 years ago. Managed as a ‘wild’ site, we encourage you to record any interesting wildlife in the Arboretum on the Nature Spot website, where you can see a list of species that have been identified.
Importantly for schools and other visiting groups, the Arboretum includes a fully-equipped, purpose-built classroom, with access for disabled people. Learn more about the Attenborough Arboretum.