Veolia volunteers spruce up urban farm

Staff from Veolia Environmental Services’ hazardous waste team and Mind Wirral, have volunteered half a day of their time to conservation work at the Tam O’Shanter Urban Farm, the Wirral. 

The six-strong team from Veolia, the UK’s leading recycling and waste management company, carried out conservation work on a protected rare heathland on Bidston Hill. The area is overrun by the non native plant, European gorse, which is highly susceptible to fire. The group of volunteers were tasked to clear half an acre of land to allow the native heather to grow which is home to a variety of native birds, lizards, amphibians and small mammals.

The Veolia team were joined by the Wirral Mind Foundation Project volunteers following previous successes at the Urban Farm where it has supported people with mental health issues to get back on the road to rehabilitation. Together groups can learn small achievable tasks which help build confidence. 

Morgan Toner, Director of Hazardous Waste services for Veolia Environmental Services said “For the team at Tam O’Shanter Urban Farm it is a constant battle controlling the gorse in the area. The time provided by the volunteers has made a huge impact to not only in helping protect this area but also supporting an important project for all the community to enjoy.“

Ranger, Nic Harding of Wirral Parks and Open spaces who is based at Tam O'Shanter said “Over the years we have helped a number of people affected by mental health issues. Having the team from Veolia and Mind coming to help was a real bonus, we got an enormous amount of work done, and have sharp new tools kindly donated by Veolia.”

Andy Gilbert for Wirral Mind discussed the benefits of conservation projects such as these to the service users “As a service we are always looking for activities like this to get involved with because it promotes good health and wellbeing and improves people’s confidence. We're really happy that Veolia helped us to get involved, we will be making this a regular activity for our users.”

The volunteering is part of Veolia’s half day volunteering scheme to give something back to local communities all around the UK. All 12,000 members of staff are encouraged to spend half a day working in their local community or charitable organisation of their choice, amounting to 6,000 days each year across the whole company.

For more information about other volunteering schemes Veolia has supported, including the partnership with Mind visit www.veoliaenvironmentalservices.co.uk or follow us on twitter @veolia_es_uk.