College sustainability project connects staff with nature 

16th August 2021

Solihull College & University Centre went back to nature recently teaming up with BNP Paribas on an outdoor regeneration project. 

The College’s sustainability development goals include establishing the link between nature and wellbeing. With the idea of regenerating an outdoor space for staff and students to enjoy, an area of Blossomfield Campus consisting of a large pond, overgrown paths and a flat area of mixed grass and mud was designated. The team of staff from the College were joined by BNP Paribas who set to work to help regenerate the area.  

Sustainability Project connects to nature

College Sustainability Officer Maddie Booth contacted Love Solihull, an environmental initiative co-ordinated by Solihull Council that supports members of the local community in making a difference. Love Solihull set up a link with banking group BNP Paribas who were looking to involve their staff in community development.  

 Tasks included building natural fencing, taking up wooden edging to reuse for path edging, weeding the area, laying down wood chipping, clearing brambles and pathways, planting wildflowers, regenerating bug and bat boxes, litter picking and more. 

Provided with tools and equipment from the College, paid for by generous donations from BNP Paribas and the Chartered Institute for Payroll and Pension Professionals (CIPP), the group worked on the project over three days. 

Julia Panek, Risk PA & Project Assistant from BNP Paribas was a part of the initiative. She states: “It was a rewarding experience. We really enjoyed making a little bit of a difference to the close community and spending time outside with some of our colleagues that we hadn’t seen for a long time.” 

Maddie Booth, who led the initiative, was impressed with the hard work. She comments:  “We were really grateful for all the amazing work BNP Paribas and college staff members put in over the three days clearing, building and maintaining our natural areas. What was once a fully overgrown space is now ready for staff and students to use as a space to clear their heads, reconnect with nature and enjoy the scenery!”