Northampton Partnership Homes’ nature project was awarded a Silver Green Apple Environment Award at a carbon neutral presentation ceremony this week.
The ceremony, organised by The Green Organisation, recognises and rewards environmental best practice around the world. Since launching in 1994, The Green Apple Awards has become established as one of the most popular environmental campaigns in the world.
NPH’s nature project provided items to help residents care for the environment and local wildlife, and helped get them started with growing their own food.
The project was split into three parts with giveaways last autumn, winter and spring.
During the autumn, residents received hedgehog houses, bug hotels, bird feeders and nesting boxes, all designed to support local biodiversity and encourage children to take an active interest in nature.
In the winter, a variety of small trees chosen for their colour, interest for wildlife or fruit potential were delivered to residents.
A number of these trees were donated to local schools including St James CE School and Malcolm Arnold Prep School, as not all children have access to a garden at home.
The spring offering was growing kits including compost, seeds and tools, helping residents to get started growing their own food, even in small places.
One resident shared a photo (pictured) of a little visitor who often visits her garden since receiving a hedgehog house. She said:
“I have been feeding this baby hedgehog, she comes every night for her food. We have called her Muffin.”
Paul Tucker, sustainability manager at NPH, said: “We’re absolutely delighted that the nature project has been recognised for this national award.
“Sustainability is high on NPH’s agenda, and we know that many of our residents share our commitment to improving the environment but can find it difficult to get started for a variety of reasons.
“This project allowed us to help more people reconnect with nature and experience the many benefits it can have on health and wellbeing, and we were so pleased that we could also extend the offer to some local schools.
“We were blown away with how popular this project was; all of the items were snapped up really quickly and we’ve had lots of really positive feedback.
“It’s been great to see photos and hear about the progress made, and we’re excited to be building a community of sustainability champions as a result of this project.
“They’ll help shape our environmental and sustainability activities and policies, which will be really positive for our local community and Northampton as a whole.”
Earlier this year, NPH’s commitment to the green agenda was recognised when it placed 12th in the top 30 sustainable housing providers in the UK by Housing Digital.
The judges recognised those providers who had gone above and beyond to improve the sustainability of their housing stock and their own organisation, and actively communicate with staff and residents to keep them engaged every step of the way.
Image: Anna Thorpe – Resident Involvement Officer at NPH, and Paul Tucker – Sustainability Manager at Green Apple
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