Conservation students visit Ravenscraig public park site with VHE


Science students have been given access to the site of the new park at Ravenscraig whilst learning about conservation from a leading environmental management company.

Students of NQ Animal Biology and Conservation at our Coatbridge Campus enjoyed a talk from a representative of VHE, which is an industry pioneer in bioremediation and the treatment of soil contamination.

Contracts manager Gavin Broomfield spoke to students about the company’s innovative work before taking them to view first-hand the redevelopment of part of Ravenscraig into a seven hectare urban park.

During the visit to the site at Ravenscraig, students were able to see for themselves the preparatory ground works required before it can be transformed into a public park.

The £3.7 million project includes a play area, outdoor gym, sensory garden, visitor hub, events area, sports pitch and network of walking and cycling routes.

Students learned what it takes to develop a brownfield site into a valuable, natural site, rich in biodiversity.

They were also told about the importance of carrying out an ecological survey before any work starts, what to do if the land is contaminated, and how rare species such as bats and plants can be relocated and protected.

The company also discussed careers in conservation and environmental engineering.

VHE is working in partnership with New College Lanarkshire and North Lanarkshire Council to offer a work placement to a student interested in learning more about their work.

Class tutor Michael Balzo said: “Students were able to benefit from the experience of a pioneering and innovative company to learn more about the careers that are available in an ever-growing sector.”

In addition, the students involved were also recently presented with a Discovery Award from the John Muir Trust for their volunteer conservation work in partnership with the Countryside Rangers at Drumpellier Country Park.

They collected data on air and water quality, helped with woodland management, and planted trees to regenerate the native woodland.

Lecturer Michael Balzo added: “We should all be inspired by the passion students put in their effort to create a more sustainable college and I am sure they will inspire future generations of students in years to come.”

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You can sign up for updates on the new park at Ravenscraig, and see a full site plan, by clicking here.

And learn more about the work of VHE by visiting the company’s website, here.

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