Following on from the success of our corporate social responsibility event earlier in 2022, we planned another event as part of our company awayday in November 2022. As Bristol is the most central location for our team to meet, we looked for a local charity we could work with as part of our CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) activities.
The Rethinking Parks programme was designed to reimagine how we support our parks and green spaces, which was founded in 2019. Your Park works across Bristol and Bath to bring communities together through our parks. Your Park stood out to us as a great cause as improving outdoor spaces for people is something the whole team resonated with. Instead of just improving and maintaining these spaces, Your Park actively drives people to engage with the open spaces and learn to use them more.
Find out more about Your Park using the links below:
To support Your Park, we took a team of ten volunteers to Blaise Castle Estate in Bristol. The estate has 400 acres of parkland that is open to the public. To preserve the estate from development, it has been owned by Bristol City Council since 1926.
Together with representatives from Bristol City Council and Your Park, the focus of the day was to strip back one of the invasive species of tree, the Laurel, and clear a path up to the top of the hill.
The Laurel tree is evergreen and shade tolerant. Livestock and wildlife do not eat them as they contain cyanide. In time, overgrowth of the Laurel will prevent woodland regeneration, and therefore, must be controlled.
Most of the team were expecting to be pulling out weeds and shrubs. However, the Your Park team had other ideas and the first order of the day was a health and safety briefing on handheld saws and how to cut down trees! The team pulled together with determination and tenacity to clear a pathway and remove as much of the Laurel trees as they could to prevent further spread. Overall, the day was rewarding and excellent for connecting with colleagues.
“It was a huge pleasure to meet the Matrix team last week and thank you so much for all your hard work at Blaise Estate. You all did a wonderful job and got through a huge amount. That section of woodland is going to be so much healthier as a result!”
– Charlee Bennett, CEO, Your Park Bristol & Bath