Student planting flowers

Students installed their winning designs outside the Future Technology Centre with space for flowers, pollinators, wildlife and bug houses.

10 May 2024

3 minutes

First-year marketing students have designed and installed planters around Portland courtyard to help students and staff connect with nature on campus.

Working with the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust (HIWWT), the students were tasked with designing planters that focused on increasing biodiversity and improving wellbeing and sustainability. Their proposals were then judged by colleagues from the University’s Estates and Sustainability team who awarded winners with certificates and funding to bring their proposals to life. 

Judges were so impressed with the quality of the designs that three winners were chosen overall. First place was awarded to Gwynneth Yang, Esi Padmore and Prabuddi Rajapaksage, with runners up prize going to Tilly Brazier, Harvey Reeves, Reuben Reeves, James Davies, Emma Molnarova and Tienny Coborn.

With support from the University’s caretakers, the students installed their winning designs outside the Future Technology Centre in Portland last month. The planters include space for flowers, pollinators, wildlife and bug houses. 

I am so proud of our students, they have conducted some really interesting work and worked hard to make a difference in their community. 

It has also been wonderful to see different parts of the university community helping out - including Kevin Poulter and Russell Bissett in Estates, our sustainability coordinator Ellie Rundle-Johnson, the caretaking team and all the generous staff in the Faculty of Business and Law who donated wildlife friendly plants to help support the students.
 

Dr Liz Ford, Senior Lecturer in the School of Strategy, Marketing and Innovation

Gwynneth Yang, one of the winning students, said: “Winning the funding was an opportunity for me to explore different ways to protect nature and implement my marketing ideas to life. It was a chance for me and my team to make a meaningful impact on young minds, empowering them to develop a stronger connection with nature.”

Prabuddi Rajapaksage, another winning student, added: “This project is critical in empowering young people to form enduring connections with the natural world, making a meaningful impact on their lives."

The project was part of a Consumer Insights module where the students conducted research with HIWWT to explore young people’s relationship with nature before implementing solutions to help address this. 

Winner Esi Padmore said: “The collaboration with the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust has made me understand how important nature is. There are so many benefits, such as stress relief, and if I just put a little more effort into caring and educating myself on what’s going on with nature, I could use these benefits.” 

The students also ran a stall during the University’s Green Week in April to raise money for HIWWT.

Student planting flowers

Students were tasked with designing planters that focused on increasing biodiversity and improving wellbeing and sustainability.

Dr Liz Ford, Senior Lecturer in the School of Strategy, Marketing and Innovation, said: “I am so proud of our students, they have conducted some really interesting work and worked hard to make a difference in their community. 

“It has also been wonderful to see different parts of the university community helping out - including Kevin Poulter and Russell Bissett in Estates, our sustainability coordinator Ellie Rundle-Johnson, the caretaking team and all the generous staff in the Faculty of Business and Law who donated wildlife friendly plants to help support the students."

Following the success of this project, the Estates team are planning to work with students to emulate this across other outdoor areas on campus. 

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