OVER 130 local Nestlé Waters employees, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust supporters, local schoolchildren and members of the community descended on Buxton’s iconic Pavilion Gardens on Thursday last week to take part in Nestlé Waters first ever ‘Get Better with Nature’ Community Day of Action in Derbyshire.
The army of volunteers were joined by Andrew Bingham MP, local councillors and other community groups to create a new wet meadowland habitat in the famous town landmark. In addition to enhancing the local wildlife, the day’s activities helped residents to gain a better understanding of the importance and value of nature.
Hosted in partnership with Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, the event saw community members clear away dead wood, grass mowings and scrub as well as plant nearly 600 bluebell and wild garlic bulbs as well as other wetland meadow plants. The result is the creation of a new wetland meadow for generations of residents and visitors to the park to enjoy.
In order to better understand how interacting with nature can have physical, mental and social benefits, participants took part in additional interactive activities such as wildlife observation and natural art creation, even contributing to make a 39m2 Get Better with Nature logo using organic material found on site. Two additional pieces of nature-inspired artwork depicting dewpond and meadow habitats were also created by children from three local primary schools.
Sian Chapman, corporate communications and CSV manager at Nestlé Waters, said: “We’ve been absolutely thrilled by the number of volunteers we’ve had at our first Day of Action. The level of commitment and buzz from Buxton residents as they worked to create this permanent fixture in this local landmark has been inspiring. As a water-centred business, health and nature - with the promotion of careful water stewardship and the protection of unique water sources - are at the heart of who we are. The work this community has done here today is an important reminder of the value of nature and the services it provides, and that it’s easy to for all of us to make an impactful difference right in our own backyards.
Matthew Croney, director of Living Landscapes at the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, said: “Only by working together can we restore our wildlife habitats to create a truly living landscape. So we were delighted that so many people turned out to help one of our most threatened habitats, wet hay meadows, and it was great to see people having so much fun doing it! We hope that everyone will take inspiration from today’s event and continue to get out there to do their bit for their local environment.”
Andrew Bingham MP for High Peak, said: "I was delighted to take part in the exercise today. It was good to see Nestle Waters, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, and the community working together, with local schoolchildren planting the bulbs.
"I look forward to seeing the bluebells blooming in May, when the children will see the results of all their hard work."
The Get Better with Nature campaign is a collaborative, long-term programme aimed at helping raise awareness of the value of nature and its services to health, wellbeing, communities and businesses across the UK. It looks to encourage them to make a positive difference literally, and figuratively, in their own backyards. With a focus on water in the landscape, the activities of the campaign also include educational materials with open forums for discussion, involving local schools, individuals, community groups and Nestlé Waters and Wildlife Trust employees.
The campaign was launched in September this year following research which showed that 93% of people around Buxton understood the value of nature to society and health, but that nearly two-thirds of respondents thought this appreciation was being lost between generations.