Green Futures is a project at DMU which has brought staff and students together to look at improving biodiversity on our campus.
The project is part of the Green Impact ‘Excellence’ standard whereby staff teams who have previously gained the highest award level under Green Impact opt for a project based approach to Green Impact instead of completing the online workbook of activities.
Green Futures is a joint project between teams from Student and Academic Services (SAAS), Estates Services and Estates Development. The three teams choose biodiversity as the topic for the project.
As part of the project the staff teams recruited student volunteers who were interested in green issues at DMU and wanted to get involved in a ‘hands-on’ project. The aim of the project was to create a space for plants which attract wildlife to the campus.
Using waste materials the students, with support from the three staff teams, have designed and produced planters made from salvaged wooden pallets, reused old Wellington boots as plant pots and revitalised Henry Hoover bases to give them a new lease in life as planting troughs.
The planters have been filled with a variety of plants, with support and advice from the DMU gardeners, to provide colour, as well as herbs for cooking and plants to support biodiversity on campus. Details of the different plants which have been planted are provided below.
- Chives - are the smallest and most delicate member of the onion family. They have long, thin green blades that are hollow inside. An edible popular herb used in European cookery for their mild, grassy flavour similar to baby spring onions or young leeks.
- Dwarf Narcissus - 'Minnow' is a charming variety which produces up to five small, creamy yellow flowers per stem. It can tolerate most soils that are well-drained but moist during the growing season. Plant bulbs at one-and-a-half times their own depth in sun or partial shade.
- Lavender - a Mediterranean shrub, that grows up to up to 1.8m (6ft) high, growing wild on dry, sun-baked hillsides. Excellent for low informal hedging and as a specimen evergreen for borders and formal gardens. For best effect plant it by doors and paths, where it's delightful scent can be fully appreciated.
- Mint - Native to the Mediterranean and widely cultivated in the UK. Spearmint is wildly used in Western cooking; It can be ground into mint sauce or jelly - the ultimate accompaniment to roast lamb. Peppermint has dark green leaves and is used to flavour ice cream, sweets and confectionary.
- Parsley - Can be used as a garnish and flavouring and as a vegetable. There are two main varieties: curly leaf and flatleaf. Both can be used for the same purposes although flatleaf parsley has a stronger flavour and tends to be favoured in Mediterranean cooking.
- Polyanthus - Has an unusual golden-eyed flower with black petals with gold margins. Plants enjoy a position in moist, slightly acid soil in partial shade.
- Strawberry - This succulent, fragrant fruit is as beautiful as it is flavourful. Elsanta, accounts for 80 per cent of the British fruit sold in UK supermarkets, although many other varieties are available from farmers' markets and pick-your-own farms and are worth seeking out. Strawberries have long been a key ingredient in classic British summer foods such as Eton Mess, summer pudding, or strawberries and cream.
- Thyme - This heady, aromatic flavour of thyme. There are many different varieties, both cultivated and wild, with flavours of mint, caraway, lemon, and stronger varieties that taste more akin to oregano. Weeping Willow - is a beautiful vigorous plant, with slender growth, the long slim branches arching gently and casting little shade. The slim catkins appear with the young silky leaves, and reach 5cm (2in) long, the males slightly longer. The whole tree is a study in cool silvery-grey elegance.
People Involved in the Project
Students and Academic Services (SAAS) – Steve Briggs, Jitesh Pandya, Wendy Howe & Sally Lloyd.
Estates Development – Karl Letten & Aghogho Ekpruke
Estates Services – Susan Newman, Theo Wright, Derrick Rollings, Daniel Kirk & Richard Corby.
Green Impact Project Assistant (GIPA)- Hoi-kei Hang, Alice Gee, Zhuozhuo Qiu, Mantas Sadlauskas, Rajan Mistry, Opemipo Abiola, Ibraheem Kolawole, Bianca Brown, Anusha Sugunasabesan, Scott Richards & Joseph Ogunremi.
Trinity House Herb Garden
To the rear of Trinity House is the herb garden which contains a wide variety of herbs. The herbs have in the past been used by students researching the medicinal value of herbs. The gardens have recently been refurbished by Estates & Commercial Services staff and the herbs are used by the Chartwells catering chefs in meals prepared for staff and students in the food village area.
Click here to find out more about Green Impact.