A Harrogate school has helped give the local environment a significant ‘green’ boost with the planting of 500 native trees within its grounds.
Working in partnership with the Woodland Trust and its Big Climate Fightback campaign, grounds staff at Ashville College – whose address is Green Lane – have planted the saplings to either enhance existing hedges or establish new ones to the southwest edge of the 64-acre campus.
A mixture of hazel, blackthorn, crab apple, dog rose and rowan will provide a habitat and movement corridors for wildlife. They will also produce pollen, nectar, nuts, fruit and berries for insects, birds and small mammals.
This latest green initiative is part of Ashville’s ongoing commitment to reduce its carbon footprint, which has seen the College sourcing 100 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources.
It has reduced its water usage by collecting rainfall from the roof of the Sports Centre in a large tank, which is then used to water the cricket pitches.
Lights are replaced with energy-efficient LED bulbs, sensors fitted in a number of corridors and washrooms mean these areas are only lit when in use, and solar panels adorn the roof of one classroom block.
Boilers have been replaced with efficient models, electrical items go to recycling and specialist waste contractors dispose of used pesticide, paint and oil containers. Local contractors are sourced whenever possible to reduce travel time and fuel consumption as well as helping support the local economy.
Green waste from the College grounds is chipped and used as mulch or compost on site. The catering team avoids using single-use plastic whenever possible, claims all disposable goods are recyclable and has waste cooking oil collected to be turned into soap and biofuel.
Cardboard is compacted, baled and recycled and there are recycling bins throughout the Senior School and boarding houses.
Aaron Reid, Ashville College Estates Director, said:
“We are continuously looking for ways to make the Ashville College campus operate in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner by reducing, re-using and recycling.
“We would rather plant hedges than erect metal fencing, as they are attractive, long lasting, store carbon and provide wildlife habitat corridors connecting to the surrounding countryside.
“Our recent ESOS energy audit identified the potential for sourcing all electricity from renewable resources, which not only reduced our carbon footprint, but also proved cost effective and matched our commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility.”
Cathy Price, Ashville College teacher and G2L AIMS (Global to Local Action in Methodist Schools) co-ordinator and the school’s Green Committee lead, said:
“When it comes to the environment and climate change there is plenty of pupil interaction.
“In addition to the subjects being covered in the curriculum, we have a very active Green Committee which works hard to encourage pupils to think about how their actions can either harm or benefit the environment.
“In the past the committee has organised litter picking in the Pinewoods and the beach at Filey. The environment is everyone’s responsibility and even the smallest actions can help to make a very big difference.
“We look forward to getting back to larger-scale environmental pupil projects and excursions when government coronavirus guidelines permit.”
For more information about Ashville visit www.ashville.co.uk or call 01423 566358.