Get Better With Nature to hold North Derbyshire Community Forum in Buxton

Bottles being filled at Nestle's state-of-the-art Buxton plant Photo: Martin J Toole

Bottles being filled at Nestle's state-of-the-art Buxton plant Photo: Martin J Toole - Credit: Archant

The inaugural Get Better with Nature Community Forum will take place on 20th November from 6pm at the Lee Wood Hotel in Buxton, with leading speakers and organisations from the worlds of nature conservation, academia and business

Nestlé Waters has announced plans to hold an inaugural Get Better with Nature Community Forum which aims to engage and empower residents of the High Peak Borough of Derbyshire around how they can make a positive contribution to their local community and natural environment.

Hosted in partnership with Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, the event will take place at the Lee Wood Hotel in Buxton on 20th November from 6pm and will feature leading speakers and organisations from the worlds of nature conservation, academia and business. In addition to informing audience members of the range of benefits nature can have, the event’s aim will be to inspire them to make a difference, literally and figuratively, in their own backyards.

Panel speakers include:

Rob Fitzsimmons, Head of Development at Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust – who will discuss the Trust’s work with UK charity MIND on the Ecominds project, which has used conservation, horticulture and wildlife gardening activities to improve participants’ mental health and wellbeing.

Paul Gately PhD – Professor of Exercise and Obesity at Leeds Metropolitan University – who will discuss his academic research supporting the benefits of nature on people’s health and wellbeing.

Jan Flamank, Wild at Heart Coordinator at Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust – who will discuss the Trust’s ‘Wild at Heart’ project, which has used wildlife-related activities for older people and other vulnerable and isolated adults to improve their health and wellbeing, reduce isolation and give them to confidence to re-engage with the community.

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Inder Poonaji, Head of Sustainability at Nestlé – who will discuss the business benefits of valuing nature and how Nestlé Waters looks to create shared value for its business and for society – whether it’s promoting careful water stewardship or sustainably using and protecting unique water sources.

The event follows the successful Community Day of Action that took place in Buxton’s Serpentine Walk on 23rd October, which saw over 130 local Nestlé Waters employees, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust supporters, Buxton schoolchildren and members of the community come together to create a new wetland meadow. The Community Day of Action helped to inform participants about the importance and value of nature through interactive, hands-on activities.

Sian Chapman, Corporate Communications and CSV Manager at Nestlé Waters, said: ‘Since launching the Get Better with Nature campaign earlier this year, we have strived to give people ways to understand nature’s benefits and to help them enjoy and protect it. The Community Forum follows in this spirit by providing an open platform for idea and best-practice sharing from across different sectors which demonstrate the value nature can bring to a variety of areas – community, economic, health and wellbeing.

‘If you have an interest in the amazing work being done in communities across the UK, we urge you to join us at the event taking place next week. We believe these speakers and success stories will inspire and empower community members with ideas of how nature can help you.”

Matthew Croney, Director of Living Landscapes at the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, said: ‘We were really pleased with the terrific turn out at the Community Day of Action in October, where Buxton school kids and residents got stuck in to help enhance wetland habitats and hay meadows. This time we will be exercising peoples’ brain power to share best practice as to the many ways business and society can benefit from engaging with nature.’

The Get Better with Nature campaign is a collaborative, long-term programme aimed at helping raise awareness of the value of nature and its services to health, wellbeing, communities and businesses across the UK. It looks to encourage them to make a positive difference literally, and figuratively, in their own backyards. With a focus on water in the landscape, the activities of the campaign also include educational materials with open forums for discussion, involving local schools, individuals, community groups and Nestlé Waters and Wildlife Trust employees.

The campaign was launched in September this year following research which showed that 93% of local Buxton residents understood the value of nature to society and health, but that nearly two-thirds of respondents thought this appreciation was being lost between generations.

For further information visit: www.getbetterwithnature.co.uk.

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