You’ve heard of the Dream Team. Now meet the Green Team. These Environmental Special Forces are ordinary people with a mission; actively protecting our environment at a local level, conserving our parks and access to green open spaces and encouraging both young and old to enjoy natural surroundings and participate in regeneration projects. The organisation at the root of it all is Groundwork Hertfordshire, a charitable trust with over 20 years experience in providing environmental solutions to local authorities, schools, businesses and local communities. Groundwork was founded in 1985 with the specific aim of helping local communities improve their natural environment in and around urban areas. Today Groundwork Hertfordshire also works in the Harlow area of Essex, and has a locally branded presence in Luton and South Bedfordshire. The Trust belongs to a large federation of independent Groundwork organisations operating around the country. Groundwork Hertfordshire runs a wide number of projects aimed at improving the local environment. Project and Quality Manager Peter Christmas is involved in a number of these projects, including working with a consortium of public and voluntary sector organisations in the Harlow area, to increase people’s access to the surrounding countryside and protect biodiversity.
The remit of Groundwork Hertfordshire is wide and its range of services extensive. Environmental knowledge and group leadership expertise has made Groundwork conservation projects a popular choice for local businesses who are looking to inspire, test and strengthen employees, both as individuals and as teams; whilst fulfilling their corporate social responsibility quota.
DOR-2-DOR began working with Groundwork in the winter of 2007, when they managed the distribution of a questionnaire about Stort Valley Natural Green Spaces, as part of a consultation project conducted by Groundwork on behalf of Natural England. Here, Peter tells us how DOR-2-DOR has helped raise their profile and capture vital public opinion to influence local policy regarding public access to green spaces.
What was your situation?
“We were looking to achieve a good response rate to our postal questionnaire which was targeted at both town and village communities. The questionnaire asked people about how they make use of open spaces in the surrounding countryside, and how they thought this could be improved.”
What results did you achieve and what was the ROI?
“Our distribution included freepost envelopes and we were very pleased with the result especially considering the questionnaire went out close to Christmas time. The campaign achieved approximately a 10% response rate. Capturing this level of public opinion through the questionnaire – combined with meeting a range of stake-holder groups – meant that we were able to disseminate information and make recommendations to local authorities and organisations with responsibility for green spaces in the Harlow area, with the aim of planning future projects in accordance with local requirements.”
Looking to the future?
“My hope is that Groundwork maintains its delivery of high quality environmental services and continues to play to its strengths.” Working with reputable, locally based companies such as DOR-2-DOR, Groundwork will be able to provide a consistent voice for local people’s environmental concerns, and help to address them, through creating and managing partnerships for action to safeguard and enhance open spaces which can then be enjoyed for generations to come.”
Would you recommend DOR-2-DOR and/or use our service again?
“I have been very happy working with DOR-2-DOR; they have a can-do approach and flexible delivery options. I found them reliable and very helpful and we achieved a very good response rate to our material.”