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news Greenhouses, green corners, and a brand new course for budding green-fingered professionals...


Welcome to our summer newsletter! As ever it’s been a busy time for us, but a highly rewarding one nonetheless. Appearances at the Harrogate Spring Flower Show and Ecofair in Leeds have helped us get our objectives of creating better places, improving people’s prospects and promoting greener living to new audiences. The recent event at the Marlborough Street estate in Leeds (featured right) demonstrates how important our work continues to be for those people without easy access to green space to call their own. Initiatives like this remind us that the impact of our work can give us pride in where we live, brings people together and improves health. People with access to green space are 3 times as likely to be physically active and 40% less likely to become obese. If you’d like to find out more about anything featured here, or would like to discuss how we can help you with similar projects, please get in touch. Our full contact details are available on the back.

Adrian Curtis Executive Director

Q. How many bottles do you need to build a greenhouse?

Groundwork’s Peter Murphy and Will Gore - pleased with progress on day 1 - pictured with our recycled planters including one made from milk cartons and wooden pallets

The answer - as we found out recently at the Harrogate Spring Flower Show - is 1300! Groundwork Leeds joined forces with colleagues from Groundwork North Yorkshire to demonstrate this increasingly popular, low-cost, greener alternative to a conventional greenhouse. Helped along by hundreds of show visitors, the greenhouse gradually took shape over the four days, and attracted interest from schools, community groups and experienced home gardeners alike.

Bottles were donated by members of the public prior to the show, and the finished greenhouse is being donated to a local school. For anyone not brave enough to attempt a whole greenhouse, a range of recycled planters were also on display to inspire budding gardeners to start growing, regardless of space or budget limitations. Visit our website for the full story, more photographs, plus a handy guide to building your own plastic bottle greenhouse.

Sunshine, volunteers, and one man’s green vision Simon Jordan is President of the Marlborough Residents Association in Leeds. Three years ago he began a journey to tackle the lack of green space on the Marlborough Street estate, and as you can see from the photos, he succeeded! Volunteers gathered on a sunny Sunday May morning to put the finishing touches to two new gardens on this small estate which nestles on the edge of Leeds’ Civic Quarter. The gardens - one a growing area and the other a relaxing chillout space - are the result of a partnership between the residents association, Groundwork’s landscape architects, and estate landlord West North West Homes Leeds. Features include raised beds, a greenhouse and fruit trees - to encourage food growing and healthy eating - new seating, and turfed areas where children can play. Residents were joined by green-fingered volunteers from across West Yorkshire for the mass volunteering event spearheaded by BBC Radio Leeds as part of their Green Corners initiative. Gardening experts Tim and Joe broadcast live from the site and were on hand to help out. Listeners also kindly donated plants, equipment, a shed, and even a security system. Simon commented: “It’s amazing to see so many people of different age groups from all over West Yorkshire coming together. Without people like everybody here today we can’t make a difference - thank you very much.” The story is by no means finished, and Simon hopes to continue developing the site as well as to encourage more residents to try their hand at food growing and gardening. You can find out more about the gardens on our website, as well as view photographs of the site before, during and after development, and images from the volunteering event.

A selection of images from BBC Radio Leeds’ Green Corners volunteering event on Sunday 26th May

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Volunteering at Groundwork can help you gain the skills and experience needed to take the next step on the career ladder, as Geraldine’s story illustrates: Geraldine began volunteering with Groundwork’s Environmental Business Services team in October 2011, working on a variety of projects including resource efficiency reviews, environmental management systems and water audits, gaining particular experience in identifying energy and cost saving opportunities for businesses. Following graduation in July 2013 she will take up a place on Yorkshire Water’s Science Graduate Scheme. She says: “I am certain that without my experience at Groundwork I would not have secured the role at Yorkshire Water. My time at Groundwork has allowed me to develop existing skills as well as learn new ones, and has provided me with plenty of great talking points for interviews.”

You can find Geraldine’s full story on our website, along with full details of our volunteering programme and the range of opportunities on offer.

What’s new? New Horticulture Traineeship for 16-19s Students will work towards a City With a nationwide shortage & Guilds Diploma in Horticulture of your skilled people to take Yes, friendly neighbourhood environmental charity has been hard 1 & 2), but most in horticulture and To mark(Levels at up workjobs in Leeds for a whole 25 years! the occasion we’re importantly will leave the course looking back at a range of projects from the last quarter of a century in a land-based industries, ready to enter job market or special online retrospective. Amongst you can find the out how Groundwork is helping to other things, progress onto further training for a we began, plus see the incredible transformation of the old Rothwell bridge the green skills gap wealth of careers including: Collieries into Rothwell Country Park. More past projects will be added with a brand throughout the year. new horticulture • Landscape gardening traineeship for young people Visit: • Green keeping in Leeds and Calderdale. Running in association with the Maltings College in Halifax, the full time two-year course will take a hands-on approach, with students working out and about in public parks and green spaces to learn their craft under the watchful eye of our highly experienced tutors.

• • • • •

Countryside management Parks and public greenspace Conservation Food growing Forestry

For more details, please contact: Paula Hinsley on 0113 238 0601/

Out and about this summer (With or without giant games...)

You can expect to see us at a whole variety of events and gatherings over the summer months promoting exercise, play, food growing and healthy eating, nature, and generally how to make the most of your local green spaces. Activities and events include (in no particular order): Guided walks in Ilkley, Baildon and Haworth (the latter as part of the Walk & Ride Festival organised by Pennine Prospects); geocaching at Beaumont Park in Huddersfield and Crow Nest Park in Dewsbury; a week of outdoor activities for young explorers in Windhill, Bradford (everything from bug hunts to bird box building); and quite literally a HOST of activities during June, July and August in the fantastic Wyke Beck Valley in Leeds (visit for full details). We will also be helping out at the Middleton Park Produce Show on Sunday 15th September. Entries of homegrown fruit, vegetables and flowers, as well as cakes and handcrafted items, are now invited by the Friends of Middleton Park (visit for full details).

GROUNDWORK is the community charity with a GREEN heart, working to: • Improve people’s prospects • Promote greener living and working • Create better places GROUNDWORK Leeds operates across Leeds, Bradford, Calderdale and Kirklees and works on hundreds of local projects each year. We focus our activity on disadvantaged communities where we can make most difference. Groundwork Leeds, Environment & Business Centre, Merlyn-Rees Avenue, Morley, LS27 9SL Tel - 0113 238 0601



Simon Watts


Climate Change Co-ordinator: Education

How do you take your tea?

Strong builders tea (just show it the milk)

Best thing about your job:

The surprise and excitement that children show when they find a centipede for the first time. It takes me back to my childhood.

Groundwork Leeds Newsletter - Summer 2013  

Quarterly newsletter of environmental regeneration charity Groundwork Leeds.

Groundwork Leeds Newsletter - Summer 2013  

Quarterly newsletter of environmental regeneration charity Groundwork Leeds.