Environmental Community Projects
A key aspect in the way that The Living Environment Trust works is the community partnership. Every environmental project is developed in partnership with community groups, in order to develop that sense of belonging that will prevent the sites from being vandalised in the future.
Case Study 1 - Sustainable Urban Drainage System at The Alan Higgs Centre
The Living Environment Trust, in charge of the environmental management at The Alan Higgs Centre, has undertaken the plantation of the swales present on site with local reeds, in order to reduce the impact of the leisure activities onto the surrounding environment. The process was facilitated by a partnership with Coombe Abbey, from where the reeds were collected.
The planting of the swales is a key element to the development of the Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems that have been integrated into the site, thereby ensuring that water pollutants such as fertiliser are cleansed from surface water prior to reaching the River Sowe.
The plantation, which has been carried out for several years, has been undertaken with a variety of community groups, including Prince’s Trust, National Probation Service, Fresh Start, Students with Severe Learning Difficulties and Disabilities.
Case Study 2 - Sensory Garden at The Alan Higgs Centre
A Sensory Garden was identified as one of the projects to be implemented at The Alan Higgs Centre, as outlined within the Environmental Masterplan, in order to enable people with disabilities to experience nature in a different way.
Accordingly The Living Environment Trust used the project as an opportunity to involve various community groups, including Students with Severe Learning Difficulties and Disabilities from Brandon Wood Farm. In addition, the Trust secured the support and involvement of senior staff from the West Midlands offices of Coca Cola, who joined forces with the students to undertake the final planting of the sensory garden. Coca Cola also donated the £350 for the purchase of all of the plants for the area.
Case Study 3 - Water vole habitat creation at Canley Brook
Having undertaken a water vole (Arvicola terrestris) and otter (Lutra lutra) survey along Canley Brook, the findings of which suggest the presence of one of the very few populations of water voles left in Coventry, The Living Environment Trust led on the first steps in the Habitat Restoration programme that was suggested within the recommendations outlined within the survey report.
Accordingly, a Himalayan Balsam eradication event took place with the help of volunteers from the local community, in order to create a more suitable habitat for the population of water voles inhabiting the brook. The eradication was followed by the plantation of suitable vegetation for water voles. The project was undertaken on an 800m section in 2 days, with the help of 14 volunteers.