Top honour at ecology and environmental awards

Date of release: Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Michael Unsworth, the university’s Grounds Supervisor, Dr Debbie Bartlett, and Karen Hills from Atkins, category sponsorsBiodiversity brought rich rewards as the university won a prestigious national prize at the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) awards.

Greenwich received the Corporate Achievement Award for its biodiversity action programme, a scheme which puts sustainability and the protection of native wildlife at the heart of all its campuses.

Bats, native bees, breeding birds, wild plants and ornamental plantings are the subject of wide-ranging surveys carried out by staff and students, as part of the plan.

Students also undertake projects such as monitoring native species, traditional hedgelaying and other activities approved by the Forestry Commission.

Sally Hayns, Chief Executive of CIEEM, says: “The University of Greenwich’s winning Biodiversity Management Plan is an excellent example of a corporate initiative proactively benefiting the natural environment. The university has utilised its large student and staff community to roll out ecologically-minded projects across its campuses.

“The management plan has not only provided subsequent sources of research, experience and education for many students, but also shows how centres of learning and higher education can lead by example in promoting wildlife conservation.”

Greenwich fought off stiff competition from organisations including Network Rail, for its Thameslink Programme, in the same category.

“It’s a fantastic accolade for everyone at the university who has contributed to the plan, in any way whatsoever, and I’m thrilled that we’ve been recognised by this national body,” says Dr Debbie Bartlett, Principal Lecturer in Environmental Management, who heads up the action programme. “Anyone at Greenwich can get involved and help to spread awareness of the importance of sustaining and enhancing our wildlife. It’s also a lot of fun creating pleasant environments at our campuses for all those living, working or studying here.”

There was another honour for the university on the night as Stephen Doso, from the Natural Resources Institute, was highly commended in the Student Project Award category.

He highlighted how large-scale gold mining was restricting the production of food crops in rural mining communities, and suggested ways mining companies and communities could work together to resolve the situation.

Story by Public Relations

Picture: At the award ceremony at Birmingham Botanical Gardens, from left, Michael Unsworth, the university’s Grounds Supervisor, Dr Debbie Bartlett, and Karen Hills from Atkins, category sponsors.

Picture credit: Steve Burden.