Sustainability Week – After the Event and Forward Planning for Next Year

Monday 11th March marked the first Sustainability Week here at Bournemouth and Poole College, with a mixture of different exhibitors in the foyer of the college throughout the week.  

At the beginning of the week, Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT) joined us and provided information to students who came to the stall. Heather Sharp had previously delivered an extraordinary community project at St. Peter's Church, where storytellers were invited to reconnect with nature by planting meadows to bolster wildlife populations in urban areas.

On Tuesday, the college hosted a very charismatic team from Waste Not Want Not (WNWN). The organisation is a triple award-winning charity group that seeks to stop food waste from being 'damaged' (scuff marks on products that are no longer considered ‘shelf-worthy’ products).  This perfectly fine-to-eat food is sold for a fraction of its retail price to provide economically equitable food for many who are struggling with the current cost-of-living crisis. 

On Thursday, the college was joined by The Parks Foundation, headquartered in Winton Recreation Park. The charity supports both the social and environmental aspects of parks. It also aims to make parks more accessible, with safety, and provides community projects. The goal is for spaces to be biodiversity-friendly and wildlife corridors, removing invasive species to assist in the balance between wild and aesthetically pleasing. 

The week came to a close with Sustainability Officer, Nathan Auger, who held a stall so both staff and students could ask questions about the topic of sustainability at the college. There were free plants given to ‘good plant guardians’ who vowed to take care of the world, the wildlife, and its people. Many great names for plants came up, and a questionnaire will be sent about this shortly.  The Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust (ARC) also joined us on the closing Friday, educating those interested in different reptiles and amphibians around Dorset. Even one of our students suggested a new site where reptiles could be through word-of-mouth.

Nathan Auger, Sustainability Officer for Bournemouth and Poole College said: “I had a great time organising such an event for the college.  Networking on all days, and we should be able to see some of these guests hold talks for the following year.  This year felt like the foundation for a bigger and more impactful Sustainability Week, next year. It was great to see students engaging with guests and having them explore their interests.

“I aim to cater next year's Sustainability Week to the different courses that our students are studying, to help provide a forum for thought and discussion, as well as potential career pathways.  For example, Tourism may benefit from an eco-tourist talk (such as a whale-watching sustainable company, or someone who may have experience with environmental tourism in Patagonia). Forensic students may be interested in environmental forensics (prevention of animal poaching or understanding socio-economical barriers that cause such crimes).  I have ideas for every single course taken at this college and will be happy to chat more with every learning department about this.”

Every one of the charities attending this year’s Sustainability Week has opportunities for students to work in a variety of backgrounds including IT, Construction, Media, Storytelling, and much, much more. To find out about volunteering opportunities with any of the charities mentioned, please contact:

The plan for the next Sustainability Week will be for February 2025, with 2-3 guests at Lansdowne and North Road and one talk per day.