The Silverburn Eco Hub: from vandalised community garden to educational hub; designed to champion biodiversity and the circular economy.
Relaunched for World Environment Day, the community garden at Workman-managed retail and leisure destination Silverburn had been vandalised in 2021 and neglected since. Now, thanks to Silverburn volunteers and grounds maintenance contractors Instant Impact Group, the garden is back – and looking brighter than ever.
In May, members of the Workman LLP Retail & Leisure and Building Consultancy teams joined the Silverburn onsite management team and Instant Impact Group to give the centre’s community garden a much-needed makeover.
“The results were tremendous and very satisfying,” says Jim Hallan, Partner, with thanks to Katherine McGinness, Silverburn’s Environmental and Community Coordinator, for organising the garden makeover.
Supporting the circular economy
Silverburn’s Eco Hub is full of circular economy initiatives as many of the planters and hedges, as well as the pallets and turf for the bug hotel were all recycled from existing materials on site. The garden will continue to promote circularity thanks to the recycled coffee grounds used as compost and the two rain barrels which collect rainwater and reduce the use of fresh water for ground maintenance.
Silverburn’s Eco Hub also boasts a fresh fruit and vegetable planter with peppers, strawberries and mint, several bird boxes, a large bug and bee hotel, an eco-hedge and countless wildflowers, all encouraging a flourishing natural habitat and biodiversity. In the long term, produce will be given to local community pantries, but the bigger focus for now is providing space for wildlife to thrive.
There are bird boxes as well as a bug hotel and wild flowers to feed pollinator species, all designed to encourage wildlife to thrive in the new hub. Composting stations and rainwater collection allow use of materials that would otherwise be discarded to be implemented back into our landscaping.
Building community: a natural resource
Educational signage will be in place at the Workman-managed retail and leisure destination, and the Eco Hub creators hope to collaborate with local schools and organisations to help educate in biodiversity, the circular economy and building more biodiverse spaces.
The Eco Hub is open to all, and access requests can be sent to email@example.com. The team is hoping for schools, colleges and nurseries to use it for educational purposes. The Eco Hub may also be used for some alternative therapy approaches like horticultural therapies.
Katherine McGinness, Environmental and Community Coordinator at Silverburn said: “This has been a project in the works for some time so it is fantastic to cut the ribbon on our brand new Eco Hub. It is very much a resource for the local community and can be used by school or youth groups for education or individuals for horticultural therapy.
“At Silverburn, we’re proud to play our part for a more sustainable Scotland and reduce our environmental impact. We currently recycle 66% of all waste, reuse thousands of plastic hangers every year and even repurpose coffee grounds. We also carry out water preservation initiatives on site and have 900 solar panels on our roof.
“We look forward to welcoming our first guests to the Eco Hub and seeing its positive impact within the community.”
Darren Cryans, Managing Director at Instant Impact Group added: “I like to say weeds are not weeds, they are simply flowers in the wrong place. People just need to adapt their mindset to see the beauty in nature, and that’s what Silverburn’s Eco Hub is all about.
“My family are local to Pollok and it has always been an aspiration of mine to work on maintaining the Silverburn grounds one day, so I am over the moon that it is now a reality for my business. Regenerating the garden is just one of many projects ongoing at Silverburn focused on boosting biodiversity so watch this space for more updates.”