Earth Day at Southwark Park – April 2016
On a bright and pleasant Earth Day this year, a team of volunteers went to Southwark Park in London to work in the nature reserve. The main aim of the day was to plant a 14 metre hedge row to screen a brick wall running along the edge of the park. The first task was to move one hundred plants across the reserve to the planting area, and then before any planting could begin, the ground had to be cleared of nettles, wood and litter. Once this was removed and the ground raked over, holes were dug parallel to the wall and the saplings were planted.
After watering the plants the team set to work cutting back tree branches to allow more light to the area and cleared a further area of nettles. Then the remaining saplings were planted to fill in the gaps in an existing hedgerow. At the end of the day the area looked vastly improved with good ground conditions for the hedgerow to flourish.
The work will benefit wildlife and the local community, as many of the nearby schools use the reserve as an educational resource for raising environmental awareness.
Dulwich Park – September 2015
On a bright sunny September day, a team of volunteers went to Dulwich Park in South London to work an area of the park called the American Gardens which had become overgrown with brambles, ferns and weeds. This was preventing the shrubs from growing well as all the plants were competing for the nutrition in the soil.
The aim of the day was to clear the unwanted growth away to allow the garden to flourish, which in turn will encourage and support the insect and bird population who feed on the flowers and leaves.
The team quickly set to work cutting back a metre of branches, brambles, weeds and clearing away leaf debris to make the borders visible again. Once this was done, the area was raked over and the curves of the borders re-established with spades and hoes.
The team then filled wheelbarrow loads of mulch and spread it along all the borders to help prevent the weeds growing back and keep moisture in the soil.
All the waste was collected in huge sacks which were then taken to be processed at a centre where it will be converted into mulch for use on other sites. This ensures that everything is re-used and nothing goes to waste.
Earth Day – April 2015
The focus for Earth Day in 2015 was Green Digital with the goal of environmentally responsible use of information technologies to reduce our impact on the environment both in our office and business solutions.
Daily tips on good IT practices were emailed to staff and on Earth Day itself a Green Quiz was launched with a “Green” prize for the winner.
Click to view the image.
Earth Day – April 2014
To celebrate Earth Day a team of volunteers went to Manorfield Primary School in East London where there is a Sow and Grow project. This is a scheme which helps schools develop their playground for children to grow fruit and vegetables and to create a sustainable educational resource.
The team weeded the orchard, cut back overgrown willow branches and mulched the fruit bushes.
One of the objectives of the day was to construct raised beds for the children to grow vegetables in. Two beds were created using old railway sleepers and then filled with soil ready for the children to start planting.
Finally the lawn was mown, the pathways cleared, all equipment packed away leaving the grounds revitalised and ready for the children to enjoy.
Tree Planting – February 2014
On a wet windy February morning a team of volunteers wento Streatham Common in south London to take part in a tree planting event with the London Wildlife Trust. The aim was to plant at least 100 saplings along the borders of the common to increase the wooded cover. This is part of a wider programme being undertaken by the London Wildlife Trust and Lambeth Council to increase the number of trees and green spaces in the borough.
The ground was soft but extremely muddy because of the recent heavy rainfall so digging was not too hard. Despite the steady rain and wind the team managed to plant over 320 saplings on two separate areas of the common. A variety of saplings were used including hazel, hawthorn, blackthorn all of which will thrive in the local soil conditions. The common is regularly used by families, joggers and dog walkers who will all be able to enjoy an enhanced woodland area as the saplings grow.
Love Food Hate Waste – September 2013
Continuing our programme of raising staff awareness on environmental issues, we recently arranged training sessions conducted by Love food Hate Waste, showing how wasting food not only wastes money but can impact heavily on the environmental.
Producing, storing and transporting food uses a lot of energy and resources and generates the equivalent of 17 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, which, if we stopped wasting food would be the equivalent of taking 1 in 5 cars off UK roads. Sending waste food to landfill adds to the environmental impact by generating methane, one of the most harmful greenhouse gases.
Educating staff on these issues can help them save money but can encourage a reduction in their own environmental footprint as well.
The LFHW sessions were fantastic, both in terms of presentation and staff engagement. The interactive content and the food waste diary were very useful tools to gain interest and raise awareness. The diary was very revealing and showed that although many staff are very good at re-using, freezing and storing food there is still room for improvement.
By the end of each session everyone had a better awareness of how to prevent food waste and clearer understanding of the terms use by, sell by and best before dates which appear on food packaging. All the information provided can lead the way for behavioural changes.
Love Food Hate Waste is doing an amazing job of spreading the word on the issue of food waste through these training sessions and has fantastic website which is full of really interesting and useful information.
Love Food Hate Waste is a subject which Edenred UK can promote not only to its staff but to a wider audience of prospects, clients and customers who use our services. We are proud to be listed on their wall of fame.
For more information about Love Food Hate Waste visit www.lovefoodhatewaste.com
Earth Day, Trafford Mill – May 2013
The Chester office celebrated Earth Day in May with an event at Trafford Mill, where logs were chopped to make charcoal, beans and vegetables were planted and willow fence panels were made.
The team tackled their tasks with vigour and was rewarded at lunch time with a hearty BBQ of local produce and home made bread.
The charcoal making team took part in some serious log chopping and sawing. By the end of the day the group resembled miners rather than Green Gang members!.
The Mill runs programmes on gardening and growing for a variety of groups including school children and disadvantaged young people to help them gain skills for future employment.
Their experts were keen to show how easy it is to grow your own food and everyone was encouraged to take home some seed trays to give it a try. Look out for the prize pumpkins in the next edition!!
Following the success of the day plans are underway to hold another event at the Mill later in the year.
Earth Day April 2013
For Earth Day 2013 a team of 10 staff went to Rotherfield Primary School in North London, to work with the charity Trees for Cities carrying out some essential maintenance tasks on their edible playground, which on a previous Earth Day in 2010, Edenred had helped to create. It is a fantastic learning resource for the children, who not only play in the area but also learn about gardening and growing their own food.
It was a warm sunny day, perfect for the painting tasks required. The team divided in pairs and set to work with various jobs. Some painted the interior and exterior of the children’s play house while others attached new guttering to the roof to collect rain water for use on the garden.
Another team cleared the potting shed and fitted a large shelf to store the children’s wellington boots and gardening equipment. The shed was also given a fresh coat of paint.
Small flowering shrubs were planted in the nursery garden to add colour to the borders and to attract wildlife to the area. Then the rope fencing around the playground was refitted to protect the growing plants.
Finally the team tidied the fruit bushes and apple trees to encourage production of a good crop later in the year and trimmed back some overgrown bushes. The children will be able to pick and eat the fruit as part of their nature lessons and will learn about healthy eating from the carrot, peas and leeks they have planted in the raised vegetable beds.
The school was very grateful for our work as the playground is much loved by the children and increases their awareness on both food and the environment.
Tree Planting March 2013
On a grey drizzling March morning a team of volunteers went to the East Reservoir Community Garden in Stoke Newington to take part in an event with the London Wildlife Trust to celebrate Climate Week 2013. The gardens are used by the local community and school groups and the aim was to plant a hedgerow and construct raised vegetable beds, where the local residents and school children can grow food. The garden is beautifully set along the canal bank looking out on to the reservoirs.
The team split into two groups to carry out the tasks of the day. The first group set about digging the heavy clay soil ready to plant the saplings to form the hedgerow along the border of the reservoir. A variety of Blackthorn, Hawthorn, and Birch were used as they are ideal for the soil conditions and will create a natural habitat for wildlife. Despite the mud and rain the team managed to successfully plant 56 saplings.
Meanwhile the other group were busy moving soil ready for the construction of a raised flower and vegetable patch. Once the soil was cleared away several old railway sleepers were manoeuvred into place to create the border, giving a rustic look and using up the old wooden sleepers.
In the afternoon both groups worked on trees around the reservoir which had become overgrown with ivy. The trunks were covered with thick twisted ivy branches almost strangling the trees. It was quite a challenge to remove the dense growth and some serious sawing skills were required to hack though without damaging the tree trunk underneath. The trees will benefit as they are no longer weighed down with the unwanted growth and small shoots will be able to grow from the lower area again.
Our work will have contributed to the on-going environmental development of the gardens for both the community, wildlife and will most importantly have a positive impact on the climate.
Pond clearing August 2012
On a warm day in August a team of 10 volunteers returned to Camley Street Natural Park to work with the London Wildlife Trust again. The group split into two teams to tackle the main tasks for the day which were clearing duck weed from the pond and removing litter, debris and silt from the canal running along the park.
One team set to work on the pond, dressed in waders and armed with nets to scoop the duck weed off the surface of the water where it is currently blocking vital light to the aquatic species below. Due to the weather conditions this year the weed has flourish and taken over the pond and parts of the canal. It is high in nutrients and everything gathered will be composted to make fertiliser for plants.
Meanwhile the other team removed litter, blocks of concrete, bricks and silt which had piled up in the canal, to prepare for the creation of a water inlet in the future. Other tasks during the day included building a dead hedge from old twigs to make a natural habitat for insects, mulching trees along the canal banks and removing litter from the water around the floating allotment barge which we helped to fill with soil in April.