News and Releases

Gardening author, businesswoman and National Gardens Scheme (NGS) member Sarah Wint will be visiting Rhubarb Farm in Langwith, near Mansfield, Nottinghamshire as part of her two-year tour of gardens which feature in the NGS Yellow Book of gardens to visit in England and Wales.

Sarah will be pulling up in her distinctive bright yellow VW campervan “Daisy Bus” on July 3rd at 12 noon and staying for the afternoon, when she will no doubt end up doing some digging and weeding Rhubarb Farm web

The visit from Sarah comes in the week before Rhubarb Farm opens its doors in support of the NGS. The Farm is open to the public on Wednesday July 8th, with guided tours taking place at 10.30, 12.30 and 2.30. NGS gardens usually open at the weekend with tea and cakes on offer but the uniqueness of Rhubarb Farm has required a change to that format.

All of the gardens on Sarah’s tour open to the public and raise funds for charities, with Rhubarb Farm being one of 68 NGS gardens in Nottinghamshire, with some of the smaller ones opening in groups. .

Sarah’s tour is calling at over 50 different gardens that have a particular story to tell of how undertaking gardening can have a positive impact on people’s lives.

Rhubarb Farm is a community-run enterprise that works with a wide range of young people and adults facing serious personal challenges. Rhubarb Farm offers training and volunteering opportunities to ex-offenders, drug and alcohol misusers, people with mental ill health, learning disabilities and teenagers struggling with behaviour problems, to increase their self-esteem, improve their lives and make a positive contribution to their community.

Sarah's own story is a bittersweet one. Her passion for gardening grew as she came to terms with the grief of not being able to have children.

Her experience has left Sarah fascinated with the restorative and therapeutic effects of gardening. She cites many cases of gardening as therapy such as in the Second World War trenches where soldiers established gardens on the front line. It is this interest in the positive impact that gardening can have on mental health which has drawn Sarah to Rhubarb Farm.

“I’m very keen to see first-hand how the work at Rhubarb Farm is helping people to rebuild their lives. I’m particularly interested to see the work with prisoners and ex-offenders and to have the chance to speak with volunteers and people on the courses. My tour is essentially a research project that will inform the content of a new book I’m planning and being able to record these experiences will be vital to my writing,” says Sarah.

Sarah’s tour can be followed by reading her blog at www.daisybusadventures.wordpress.com or by following her on Twitter @daisy_bus

Rhubarb Farm is the only visit Sarah will be making during the first week of July (she normally averages three gardens in seven days) as she will be busy hosting two garden openings of her home at Brook Farm, near Tenbury Wells in Worcestershire. Lots of NGS supporters open their gardens up to the public with the aim of raising funds for charities.

Jennie Street is Managing Director of Rhubarb Farm and says everyone there is looking forward to welcoming Sarah.

“We share a lot of the same beliefs that Sarah holds on the curative nature of gardening. We cannot wait to talk to her about our projects and the positive outcomes experienced by the volunteers. We have something else in common with Sarah – we also have a bright yellow bus, but ours is nicknamed the Yellow Submarine!” says Jennie.

Rhubarb Farm was opened in 2011 with the aim of providing work placements, training and volunteering opportunities for people with long-term needs, through the medium of growing fruit and vegetables for market, which in turn generates income to support Rhubarb Farm’s work. From its humble beginnings in clearing a huge bramble patch, Rhubarb Farm now cultivates eight acres of land on which it grows over 35 different varieties of fruit and vegetables as well as rearing 100 hens which produce eggs for sale. Over 300 volunteers have come to the farm, of which 70 have gone on to gain employment or further education through the support they received from the skilled staff team. 

Sarah is also the founder of the Honeysuckle Trust charity which was named after one of Sarah’s favourite flowers. It will sponsor people who have been bereaved to take short gardening breaks so they can restore their well-being through active participation in gardening. “We don’t just want to send people home exhausted after digging someone’s vegetable patch,” says Sarah. “There are lots of gentle jobs that can be done which I have always found comforting - it’s almost like undertaking meditation.”

Horticultural therapy stretches back some 5,000 years and is known to have been used by ancient Egyptian physicians who were said to have suggested walks in gardens for their patients, while in the 14th century Irish monks prescribed time in the garden for those who were “troubled”. In 1798 the American professor of medicine Dr Benjamin Rush noted that “digging the soil has a curative effect on troubled souls”.

In an article for the Nursing Times, Mathew Page, of the 2gether NHS Foundation Trust in Gloucester, speculated that the giving of hope might be the key benefit of gardening therapy. He wrote: “…there may be something in gardening associated with providing hope for those who may have little else to hope for. This might, ultimately, be the most beneficial aspect of gardening therapy.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

Photo caption - L-R, Rhubarb Farm Horticulturalist, Sharon Storey; Terry Wilson and John Bennett, volunteers at Rhubarb Farm.

Contact details: Rhubarb Farm CIC, Hardwick Street, Langwith, NG20 9DR
Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rhubarb-Farm/222740847792024

TWITTER:  @RHUBARBFARM1

Website www.rhubarbfarm.org.uk

Sarah’s book ‘The Heartfelt Garden’ is available from Amazon on Kindle (with 50% of the proceeds going to The Honeysuckle Trust). Hardback copies priced at £10.50 can also be ordered from www.heartfeltgarden.co.uk

For more information on bereavement breaks, visit www.honeysuckletrust.co.uk

For further information or to book interviews in respect of the above, please call Graham Parker at Parker PR Ltd on 01623 638023 or 07977 448 306

This news release was created by Parker PR Ltd. All comments and information above have been approved by those quoted and are not the responsibility of Parker PR Ltd, which takes no responsibility for any actions arising out of the publication of them in any form of media or spoken word.

Earlier this year I teamed up with a number of journalism and PR students from Nottingham Trent University with the aim of giving them projects to work on, which in turn would create something for their personal portfolios.

Happy days

We did this by offering free PR support to SME's and charities in the Nottingham area - and I'm delighted to say it has come good on our first project. Emma Page is a student that has been working with Nottingham based charity support organisation Gifts4you.tv and a number of charities it works with. Coverage has already been generated in the Luton News Herald and Post (see it here) for the charity Happy Days, which sends young people with mental and physical disabilities on days out.

I'm delighted that this win-win strategy of supporting students, local businesses and charities has worked so well.

My client, Ellesmere Children's Centre in Sheffield is looking for responses to a tender to refit the Victorian School and Caretaker's building in which it is housed. There will be some considerable renovation work to be done as the caretaker's building and some of the school buildings have been left empty for some time and need bringing up to date and made fit for use. If you are interested in applying for the work, please dowload the paperwork below and contact Sharon Curtis, Centre Manager on 0114 281 2143 

Existing Plans

Proposed Plans

Location Plan

Specification

Schedule of Works

Pre Construction Plan

Report Plan

Dr. Patrick Candler, CEO of Sherwood Forest Trust today pressed the virtual button to officially open a brand new three acre Solar Panel Farm at Ransom Wood Business Park in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire on Earth Day 2015 – making Ransom Wood, what is thought to be, the UK’s only self-sustaining business park when it comes to providing its own green power supply.

Ransom Wood Solar Farm Park Opening web

The event celebrated a landmark occasion for Ransom Wood Business Park as it moved closer toward its aim of becoming a world-class centre of renown for synchronous business and environmental management.

The new Solar Farm has over 2,000 photo voltaic panels that will be able to provide up to 450 Kilo Watts (KW) of power. Ransom Wood Business Park spans some 110,000 square feet of which over 75,000 square feet is occupied office space, a restaurant and a nursery; all of which will be powered by the solar panel farm. The offices, restaurant and nursery require an average of 50 - 400 KW when fully functioning; which means that the solar panel farm will be able to produce enough electricity to power all the businesses on the park – something that is thought to be unique in the UK.

James Cannon is a Director of Ransom Wood Estates, the company that manages the business park, he sees the solar panel farm as having multiple benefits for tenants and the wider community surrounding Ransom Wood.
"We believe that we are leading the way in environmental management and business support. We reused the old buildings we inherited on the site and have incorporated sound environmental policies wherever appropriate to benefit out tenants. They will be able to power their businesses in the knowledge that no fossil fuels are being used to keep them running. With the solar farm on-line, we will be able to run the business park in a self-sustaining way when it comes to energy use, reducing carbon emissions by thousands of tonnes each year," says James Cannon.

Amongst over 50 guests that attended the launch was George Cowcher, CEO of the East Midlands Chamber of Commerce and Tony Egginton, Mayor of Mansfield.

Charles Cannon, fellow Director and brother to James, says the decision to set up the solar panel farm was as much about ethics as it was economics and environmental management.

“Ransom Wood is all about creating the right space in which people can work without the added stress factors of living out of an office. The history of the site is one of the environment supporting the well-being of people using it and we are determined that continues. Being based at Ransom Wood means working in a beautiful place that changes through the seasons, one that sustains the flora and fauna of the area and in return it provides an inspiring and creative place in which people can run a business. We can now host solar powered conferences, events and even weddings while at the same time not damaging the environment,” said Charles Cannon.
Ransom Wood Estates has invested over £660,000 in the solar panel farm, which in time will involve rare-breed sheep grazing the meadows below the panels and the development of new flora and orchards to attract more wildlife to the site. In time the farm will be made open to school visits to educate children about the environment and sustainable power sources.

Ransom Wood Business Park was launched in 1997 when the land and former TB and recuperation hospital site was taken over by the Cannon family. Intent on keeping the unique sense of well-being that the site provides, Charles and James Cannon set about creating a business park that worked in harmony with the environment and supported the health and well-being of its business tenants. Unlike modern business parks, Ransom Wood uses old early 20th century buildings instead of erecting purpose built new ones.

“It’s very easy to erect a new office that is full of environmentally sound systems etc., the real challenge comes in making use of existing buildings that are full of challenges donated to you over 100 years ago. Re-use is the first rule of recycling and we wanted very much to stick to our principles rather than level the site and use up even more resources to build new spaces,” said Charles Cannon.
There are over 60 different businesses housed on the business park, with between 700 – 900 people using the park on a daily basis.

Guests at the official opening had the opportunity to visit the Solar Farm, test drive a hybrid car and have a ride on a sun and wind powered trike.

Later on in the day they could also join in a number of events such as African drumming, outdoor yoga and Qigong as the opening ceremony was timed to coincide with Earth Day 2015.

The first Earth Day took place on April 22, 1970 when 20 million Americans from all walks of life took action to reduce their impact on the planet - it is widely credited with launching the modern environmental movement. The passage of the landmark Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act and many other ground-breaking environmental laws soon followed. Growing out of the first Earth Day, Earth Day Network (EDN) works with over 22,000 partners in 192 countries to broaden, diversify and mobilize the environmental movement. More than one billion people now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world.
The Sherwood Forest Trust (SFT) works with a wide range of partners and stakeholders in order to promote the value, diversity and importance of Sherwood Forest as an area of international cultural heritage and significance. At an operational level, the SFT is able to support the specific work of landowners like Ransom Wood Estates to help them improve the quality and integrity of the landscapes that they own.
ENDS

Notes to editors:


Photo caption – Charles Cannon stands among the 2066 solar panels on the new farm.


To find out more about Ransom Wood Estates, please visit www.ransomwood.co.uk
To find out more about Earth Day 2015, visit www.earthday.org
To find out more about Sherwood Forest Trust visit www.sherwoodforest.org.uk


This news release was brought to you by Parker PR. For more information on its

Parker PR is a Public Relations agency based in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire. Contact details are: Parker PR, Suite 8, The Business Place, Langford Road, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, NG19 6QG Telephone 01623 638023, mobile 07977 448 306 or visit www.parkerpr.com

A Mansfield based aquatics firm and a social enterprise in Langwith have created an unlikely partnership that has turned an environmental headache into a positive business solution.

Mansfield Aquatics receives its weekly supply of new fish and plants in Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) boxes. While they are perfect for carrying fish, they have proved very difficult to dispose of in the past – but that has all changed thanks to the company’s new partnership with Rhubarb Farm.

Rhubarb Farm EPS web

The community-based farm on the Nottinghamshire/Derbyshire border grows a wide range of vegetable crops which are sold to local families, restaurants and farmers’ shops; it also provides training opportunities for people facing social and personal challenges. It will now be making regular trips to Mansfield to collect the various-sized boxes which it will then use when delivering soft vegetables like tomatoes, lettuce and broccoli to customers.

Managing Director of Mansfield Aquatics, Dave Ferry explained how Rhubarb Farm approached him offering the perfect solution to his waste disposal problem:

“Rhubarb Farm rang me asking if I had any boxes it could use to transport the vegetables it grows. I told them about the EPS ones we get our fish in, which they said were perfect. The boxes take up space and in the past we have even had to pay for them to be taken away and disposed. I love the fact that our partnership has found a green solution to our waste problem and my business headache.”

Sharon Storey, Horticulturalist at Rhubarb Farm says the partnership is a win-win-win solution; “We use organic methods of growing produce at the farm and are very environmentally conscious, so to be able to reuse waste materials like this is a winner for us. Mansfield Aquatics wins because it no longer has to pay for the boxes to be taken away and together we both stop waste going to landfill sites; which means everyone wins!”

The British Plastics Association estimates that around 2,255 tonnes of plastic waste is created in the UK each year, with only 25.2% of that ending up being recycled.

Mansfield District Council does accept trade waste EPS at its Hermitage Lane Recycling Depot. Businesses are charged a trade rate of £140 a tonne to dispose of it with a minimum payment of £10 for waste handled by the Depot.

ENDS

Notes to editors:

Photo caption:
L-R Josh Wagstaff and Dave Ferry from Mansfield Aquatics, Sharon Storey with Rhubarb Farm Volunteer, Marcus Ellis.

For further information or to book interviews in respect of the above, please call Graham Parker at Parker PR Ltd on 01623 638023 or 07977 448 306

This news release was created by Parker PR Ltd, a public relations agency serving small to medium sized businesses in the Midlands and Yorkshire. All comments and information above have been approved by those quoted and are not the responsibility of Parker PR Ltd, which takes no responsibility for any actions arising out of the publication of them in any form of media or spoken word.