The Ecology Consultancy, a leading UK based ecological consultancy, have recently launched an initiative of School Ecology Workshops to assist the construction industry in engaging with local communities and aiding them in their corporate social responsibility activities. The programme of ecology based educational workshops are offered to schools that are undergoing or located near to construction works and are designed to educate and inspire school pupils about ecology and the natural environment.
Members of The Ecology Consultancy’s team of expert ecologists visit local primary schools to deliver wildlife themed, classroom based workshops to educate pupils about how the development is being carried out in a way that protects local wildlife and in conjunction with members of the developer’s project team they also provide a broader view of the project’s environmental activities. The workshops are developed to cater for both Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3 pupils with activities suitable for each age group, which are linked to the school curriculum.
The workshops enable developers to form stronger links with local communities and help them create an on-going dialogue with schools, businesses and residents about how the development may impact their local area. In addition they also help developers meet Considerate Constructor Scheme* targets for community engagement and environmental protection and build advocacy for developments as communities learn how developers are taking measures to protect the environment.
The scheme has been successfully piloted earlier this year with a number of leading housebuilders including Bovis Homes on a visit by The Ecology Consultancy to Browick Road Primary School in Wymondham, with Linden Homes where they visited Churchill Church of England Primary School in Westerham and with Farrans at Avanti House School in Stanmore.
The initiative is now being rolled out as a full service offering from The Ecology Consultancy’s regional offices, based in London, Norwich, Lewes, Lichfield and Wakefield and will be available to development clients where construction work is taking place near to schools.
Jon Riley, Technical Director at The Ecology Consultancy said:
“The School Ecology Workshops are a great way for developers to work closely with ecologists on important community engagement and CSR activities. They help developers communicate with schools about the considerations for wildlife involved in construction and leave a lasting positive legacy of involvement with the local community.”
Annette Hurst, Regional Sales Director at Bovis Homes said:
“We’re delighted to have the opportunity to work with The Ecology Consultancy and the pupils of Browick Road. It’s great to see these young students learning about some of the wonderful wildlife around them.”
Corrina Peachment, Deputy Head Teacher at Browick Road Primary School, Norfolk, said:
“The children found the ecology workshops really interesting. It was great for them to see their local area in a different light and they enjoyed learning about how different animals have adapted to their environments.”