Woodland Creation Project
Actively reducing the carbon footprint of our operations
Kelda Water Services (Alpha) teamed up with the Woodland Trust and Northern Ireland Water in order to jointly promote woodland creation. KWS Alpha operate Dunore Point Water Treatment Works and Castor Bay Water Treatment Works for our client Northern Ireland Water. At both of these sites there were a number of unplanted grassy areas which would benefit from the planting of a range of trees, hedgerow and shrub species.
The planting of these trees will help to reduce the carbon footprint of the water treatment process and provide better surroundings for future generations. Additionally, planting trees helps to improve the biodiversity of the areas by creating a wide range of differing habitats, whilst also improving the aesthetics of the sites.
When we hit upon the idea of creating areas of woodland on the sites we realised that we had a golden opportunity to add enormously to sustainability and the environment. We also realised that this would be a perfect project in which to proactively engage with the local community and try to pass on our enthusiasm for improving our environment.
Castor Bay and Dunore Point Water treatment works were surveyed to determine which areas would benefit from the planting of trees. Additionally, there was potential to plant hedgerows and areas of shrubbery to help increase the biodiversity. It was determined that a total of 9,000 flourishing native saplings could be planted across the two sites, providing a much-needed habitat for wildlife whilst also enhancing the landscape and helping to offset atmospheric carbon.
Successful implementation of this project required partnerships with a number of external stakeholders, so before we embarked on the project we had to make sure they were on board. Firstly, the Woodland trust became involved in order to provide the trees and also provide advice on the tree species and tree planting. Additionally, Northern Ireland Water were involved as they own the site and funded the project through their SCAMP initiative.
KWS Alpha managing director Gavin Cawthra said "Kelda Water Services are delighted to be working together with the Woodland Trust on this project. We are committed to using our resources sustainably at all our sites, and this scheme will help us promote woodland creation, improve biodiversity and will reduce the long-term carbon footprint of the water treatment process."
Involving the community
In order to pass on our enthusiasm for the environment and sustainability we decided to involve a number of local primary schools. The children from local primary schools were able to make their mark by rolling up their sleeves and helping to plant some of the trees. Additionally, the children benefited from being involved in an interactive workshop on water efficiency and the water cycle. Ballycraigy Primary School and St Comgalls from Antrim helped out with the planting at Dunore Point Water treatment works while Tannaghmore Primary School helped out at Castor Bay.
Benefits to Northern Ireland
- Added to the natural habitat footprint and biodiversity of NI
- Helped educate local primary school children about water efficiency and the water cycle
- Reduced the carbon footprint of the water treatment process in Northern Ireland
Benefits to KWS Alpha
The woodland creation project has enabled us to:
- Improve relationships with external stakeholders such as the Woodland Trust
- Build relationships with local schools
- Reduce the carbon footprint of our water treatment process
- Improve relationships with the local community by improving the aesthetics of the sites
This project was very successful. As a result KWS Alpha will endeavour to further develop the relationships which have been created with external stakeholders in order to complete more projects if this type in the future.