Big Dig makes a buzz

'Bee hotels' and wildflowers pop up at London Met

Date: 22 August 2014

Dig this: (from left) Paul Ayles, Hard Services Co-Ordinator, Paul Lambert, Estates Health and Safety Manager, Paul Bowler, Deputy Chief Executive, and Estates Energy Manager Rachel Ward get stuck in. 

There were green-fingered goings-on at London Met this week when members of staff took part in the Big Dig 2014.

Staff from estates, the Students' Union and Executive swapped their pens for pitchforks to help create a wildflower meadow in the Courtyard, Holloway campus.

A number of ‘bee hotels’ were also installed to give weary bumblers shelter in which to rest.

The Big Dig was the brainchild of Estates Energy Manager Rachel Ward. She said: “We thought the area needed a little TLC, so we decided to tidy it up a bit and make an effort to increase the biodiversity here.

“It’s brilliant to bring people together and get them out of the office. Lots of people use the Courtyard so it’s nice to do something which benefits the University community, and have some fun in the process!”

Rachel entered a competition with the organisation Grow Wild and won a range of wildflower seeds to plant. The Courtyard will soon be ablaze with marigolds, poppies, daisies, buttercups, meadow sweets and knapweed.

Caroline Jackson, Director of Estates at London Met, was impressed with the Big Dig.

“I think it’s a really good idea and we should be doing more things like this to get people involved in gardening and being out in the fresh air,” she said. “These events are open to everyone and it really is a case of ‘more the merrier’.

“We also welcome creative ideas from staff and students about what we can do together to improve the Estate.”

There are now plans to hold a similar event in London Met’s Inner Courtyard - home to the biggest pond in Islington beyond the borough’s parks.