With an expanding campus and the student intake rising, the students of The Arts University Bournemouth (AUB) wanted to take measures to offset the carbon footprint and create an outdoor space that others could make use of. In 2014, The Arts University Bournemouth Students’ Union (AUBSU) pledged to plant 3,000 trees over 3 years with the Woodland Trust, to represent the new students who join The Arts University each year.
The first two tree planting days saw great success with AUB staff and students taking up spades to plant the mix of Oaks, Silver Birch, Wild Cherry and other native broadleaf trees at the sites on Slades Farm (2014) and then at Hicks Farm (2015). On Saturday 19th November, more than 70 student and staff volunteers made their way to Throop Mill where they battled the elements to ensure the last 1,000 trees, a mix of British Oaks, Willows and shrubbery.
The successful three year campaign has not only seen an increase in the number of trees in the local area but has also influenced the students of AUB to be more creative in their sustainability efforts.
Davina Gilbert, AUBSU’s Green Officer said, “The AUBSU Tree Planting has been an open door for students to feel they can talk about green issues and get involved with the environment, without feeling added pressure of responsibility alongside their studies.
This year has seen a huge increase in interest from students in environmental issues, and having the Tree Planting as a starting point has led to many more members of the University Eco Society and the Students’ Union Green Team.”
Throughout the campaign conservation charity the Woodland Trust has supported the Students’ Union, by providing the trees and advice necessary to achieve their goal.
Hamish Thomson, Woodland Creation Advisor for the Woodland Trust said: “It’s been great working with Arts University Bournemouth over the last three years. We’re thrilled that they decided to plant so many trees, and we look forward to seeing them flourish for future students to enjoy.”
Though the 3 year pledge is coming to an end the Students’ Union are keen to ensure that their environmental efforts do not stop there with aims to use the interest it has generated as a jumping off point for other campaigns.
AUBSU President, Lauren Housego said, “The tree planting scheme has enabled students to engage with the natural environment, allowing them to actively participate in helping to reduce their carbon footprint in a way that is much more tangible than recycling or turning the tap off while you brush your teeth (but these are no less important!).
It is important that we strive to look for other creative ways to contribute to making a positive environmental impact, and to highlight the achievements that can be made through collective efforts to the wider community.”