Public Health England is a government agency whose mission is to “protect and improve the nation’s health and to address inequalities.” The organisation joined the NHS Forest in 2013 when they took part in planting two trees at 2pm on NHS Sustainability Day at their Colindale site in North London. The site has a range of allotments and went on to plant a wildflower bank. This saw the bee population quadruple in size, having been decimated in the previous two winters.
A further two willow trees were planted at 2pm as part of NHS Sustainability Day in 2014.
PHE Colindale has built an allotment area with raised beds. It collects all food waste and composts it in an enclosed composter. This soil conditioner is then added to the allotments to help grow more fruit and vegetables. This area aids staff who either have no green area at home to grow food, or who want to relax by the riverside during the working day to recharge with the fresh air and natural surroundings. The site has water butts to collect rainwater and uses a ‘food waste to water’ machine to reduce mains water use.
In June 2015, PHE Colindale held an Earth Awareness Day on site. The focus was on highlighting the health impacts of sustainability work at Colindale PHE. Participants included:
- EMCOR with a Love Food, Hate Waste campaign
- Affinity Water with water-saving gadgets
- Banner with a Closed-Loop recycling campaign
- Electric bikes’ who are on the ‘PHE Cycle to Work’ Scheme;
- The PHE Health and Wellbeing group, to highlight the positive impacts of exercise on health
- MHFA, to highlight the positive impacts of ecotherapy on mental health
- Catering Academy highlighting the impacts of better nutrition
- Two beekeepers selling local honey products and giving information on the positive impacts of bees
- The RSPB
- The PHE allotment group showing what they had grown with three competitions
The event launched the ‘Colindale PHE Wildlife Group’, to enable staff to learn more about the birds, insects and plant species on site and to understand how people and the organisation interact with the environment.