GO GREEN TEAM FOR A BRIGHTER BATTLES FUTURE; Sponsors show their support by rolling out wildlife garden.
Byline: Chris Kelsey
SUPPORTERS of the Echo's Go Green initiative turned out in force to help Cardiff council bring a splash of colour to one of the city's most popular parks.
They were there to help the parks service lay specially-developed turf full of wildflower seeds, including cowslips, buttercups, red campion and oxeye daisies, in Roath Park.
The flowers will help attract wildlife, including bees and butterflies, to the park which is a popular destination for joggers, dog-walkers and families.
The turf has been developed by a company in Hampshire and is designed to be easy to lay and maintain, establishing a wildflower meadow within just eight weeks and needing only one mow each year.
Representatives of many of Go Green's sponsors, including the Carbon Trust, were on hand to help the parks service's Steve O'Hanlan lay the turf. The event was an opportunity for them to demonstrate their support ahead of the initiative's launch next week.
Helen Nelson, from Cynnal Cymru- Sustain Wales, said: "We try to reach out to a new audience in South Wales and teach them about sustainability in general.
We also try to raise awareness of the action that we can all take to tackle climate change.
"All of the different government sectors should do something to go green, as well as householders and communities.
"There are so many small things that people can do to make things better and improve their wellbeing, such as buying local food.
"We are keen to listen to people and talk to them to find out how they are managing to be green - what works for them and what doesn't." Helen Beddow, from the University of Wales Newport, said: "We see Go Green as a fabulous platform to be able to promote environmental issues to a wider audience than those who might just take an interest in it because if affects everybody in all aspects of their lives. As a university that helps people to get on and make a difference in people's lives, we feel it is very important to get involved.
"When students are looking to go to university they want to know that they are going somewhere that cares about them as people and the environment. We were the first university in Britain to set up an on-site eco diesel plant so it's something that we want to promote and we want people to realise that we are a caring university for staff and students and everybody involved." Helen Northmore, head of the Energy Saving Trust in Wales, which helps people save energy and money in their homes and reduce emissions, said: "We are supporting Go Green as an initiative to get these messages across and to let people know about our helpline so that they can ring for advice on how to save energy. We are encouraging people to contact us because we have lots of simple tips that cost next to nothing to help them save on their bills." Prof David Brooksbank, director of enterprise at the Cardiff School of Management, said the school had put sustainability as one of the core themes throughout its courses.
"It's going to become one of the featured issues in all of our lives and a key term of employment," he said.
"Having a knowledge of social responsibility's impact on business is absolutely vital. Employers are going to look for that sort of thing.
"We have a lot of mature students who come to us for executive education or masters level courses and, increasingly, corporate responsibility and environment management systems are hugely important in terms of how companies portray themselves to customers." Liz Bedford, project manager of Go Green, said: "Our clients have been unanimous in welcoming the launch of Media Wales' Go Green initiative. It is an ambitious programme that will be informative and educational - we believe it will help change the way we all live our lives.
"There are many platforms for clients to spread their green message via print and WalesOnline across the whole of Wales. And our Go Green team will be going out into the community to help spread the green message at events throughout the year." From Tuesday the South Wales Echo will feature two pages of Go Green news and features every week, and its sister papers The Western Mail and the Celtic weekly newspapers will also have regular features.
There will also be pull-out supplements and a section on our website, www.walesonline.co.uk and watch footage of the wildflower turf being rolled out by the volunteers CLICK ON WalesOnline.co.uk /video
Cardiff parks service's acting working supervisor Steve O'Hanlan, above. Left, from left to right, Helen Northmore, Energy Saving Trust in Wales, Liz Bedford, Go Green project manager, Councillor Nigel Howells, Helen Nelson, of Cynnal Cymru Sustain Wales, Helen Beddow, of University of Wales College, Newport, and Professor David Brooksbank