Wild Work Places

Salford factory

Matt Doogue is a man on a mission: to make his work place wild and encourage others to do the same. Matt explains how he is transforming the land around the factory where he works into a wildflower haven and how you can do the same…

What is #WildWorkPlaces?

#WildWorkPlaces is a vision to transform all the concreted, derelict and unused land around our work places into wildlife havens, works' gardens and nature hotspots.

The idea came from my own work place – a factory in Salford, Manchester. I was walking around the site and I noticed that much of the land owned by my work place is barren and not being used, square meters upon square meters of it.

Why do we need #WildWorkPlaces?

Bees and butterflies are in decline, but it is within our power to do something to help. Growing native plants and wild flowers is a fantastic way of attracting wildlife back to built-up or industrial areas. And it’s great for people too! Imagine having your lunch in a colourful, sweet-smelling garden, rather than a dull grey canteen area. Maybe you're having a bad day and need somewhere to escape to on your lunch hour – being surrounded by nature is a brilliant antidote to work-related stress. 

How can I make my work place wild?

Short on space? Hang some baskets up or put some pots at the entrance to your building. You’d create a more welcoming environment for yourself and co-workers, while helping local butterflies and bees.

Don’t have access to grass? Pots, tubs and wooden planters can easily turn a dull concreted area into a beautiful floral masterpiece. Add some benches and, hey presto, you have a garden.

My colleagues and I have signed up for free Grow Wild seed kits – enough to transform over 900 square metres with UK native wild flowers. We plan to create a small wildflower meadow and works’ garden by reusing old pallets and drums from around our site. Some of the drums will be cleaned and used as water butts for collecting rainwater. Others we’ll cut in half and use as planting tubs for wild flowers and plants. With the old pallets we intend to create benches, bug hotels and planters. 

Lots of people from our factory are not only donating their free time at weekends, they’re giving ornaments and plant pots to decorate the garden.

Matt Doogue

Follow Matt on Twitter @MattDoogue