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HMS Collingwood’s efforts blossom in environmental awards

9 October 2017
The hard work of volunteers was acknowledged recently when HMS Collingwood won Gold and Silver in two Britain in Bloom competitions.

The Naval Base in Fareham decided to enter its first Britain in Bloom contests after its conservation group and volunteers from across the base, led by Mark “Cozy” Powell, Environment & Energy Manager, and Martin Bowyer the Safety, Health, Environment and Fire Manager, planted thousands of spring bulbs along its frontage with Newgate Lane.

To obtain permission to do this, Cozy liaised closely with Fareham Borough Council’s Parks Department who donated bulbs to start the project off. 

The judges were also impressed by other areas within the Base which have been adopted by employees, for example, Interserve staff from the Motor Transport Section and Babcock employees from the Projects Department both created beautiful gardens and barbeque areas around their offices where colleagues can relax away from the hustle and bustle of office life. 

I’m delighted with this because it gives some recognition of the efforts of quite a few people.

Mark Powell

The Base is also a litter-free area with many varied recycling facilities for staff to use and also boasts a wide range of flora and fauna.

As Cozy explained, the bulb planting originally stemmed from HMS Collingwood’s Honey Bee project which began a year ago to introduce a hive to the Base.

When the bees emerge in Spring, it is important that they can find energy-rich plants close to the hive and the daffodils and tulips planted last year have already helped the Project produce an impressive 24 jars of honey in its first year.

The secure nature of the military base is also ideal for HMS Collingwood’s hedgehog release initiative which sees rescued hedgehogs re-homed away from traffic and predator hazards.

Members of the Gosport Shed kindly made and donated hedgehog bungalows as well as owl boxes.

The bungalows allow the animals to thrive and it is hoped that when a viable population has been established, some individuals can then be released onto Horsea Island, a site of Special Scientific Interest.

These projects underline the effects HMS Collingwood’s measures have had on the wider environment and it was this that impressed the judges who awarded them Silver in the South and South East in Bloom and Gold in the Fareham in Bloom contests.

Speaking of his pride in his team’s efforts, Cozy said, “I’m delighted with this because it gives some recognition of the efforts of quite a few people.

“From a local perspective, what we’re giving back is tremendous and I think everyone recognises that.

“People do care about the environment but they have to be inspired by something like this.”

Future plans for the team include planting more bulbs further along Newgate Lane and the seeding of two meadow areas.

Red, white and blue cornflowers will hopefully extend the floral displays for employees and the wider public alike.

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