We recognise that our own efforts to reduce environmental impacts are but a drop in the ocean compared to the global problem. That’s why we look for ways to amplify our effect, cooperating with other businesses and investing in young people. Our own Managing Director, Nick Brown, is Vice President of the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA), a group raising funds from across the industry to support conservation projects. Nick is also an Ambassador for the World Land Trust, an NGO working to protect threatened ecosystems around the world. Nick’s time is precious to the company, but we also know that these activities help promote conservation and environmental responsibility to a wider audience.
If we want to progress into a better world, in which people think, act and vote in an environmentally responsible way, it is vital that we equip the next generation with the right tools. At Nikwax we believe that an appreciation and understanding of the natural world, and our place in it, should be a key part of a child’s education.
Staff from our Technical Development and Environmental Management teams, make regular visits to local primary and secondary schools, working with teachers to give workshops on science and sustainable business. Students also visit the company to learn about health and safety in the workplace.
Unfortunately, we are currently not accepting applications for the Nikwax Small Grant Scheme. During these unprecedented times we would ask that you please bear with us and continue to check this page for further news and updates. We will update the page again, once we are accepting applications once more.
In the meantime, please read on to learn about a few of the projects that we have funded in the past.
In April 2019 the UK charity ‘Earth Restoration Service’ contacted Nikwax to discuss their School Tree Nurseries programme, whereby a network of schools are actively involved in planting new woodlands.
They applied for funding to provide 5 East Sussex schools with small-scale ‘tree nurseries’ in their (school) grounds, which the children would enjoy caring for whilst learning about the vital role trees play in our eco system. 250 trees, native to the UK, were to be divided between each of the 5 schools which, on gaining maturity, would be out-planted in the schools’ local communities to form new woodlands, within Forestry Commission guidelines. With just one oak tree harbouring at least 400 insects, the programme would also boost dwindling invertebrate populations, supporting a wealth of other animal species higher up the food chain.
Earth Restoration Service envisaged their project bringing together hundreds of East Sussex children, their parents and teachers, and harnessing community spirit whilst helping the local environment to flourish.
The educational benefits were also clear, encouraging children to identify local wildflowers, trees and insects, and teaching them practical skills such as how to follow instructions and use gardening tools. Personal skills, too, would be developed as the children listened, shared, worked and played together whilst they tended their nurseries.
Our grant would pay for each of the 5 schools to receive 50 native UK trees, spiral guards (to protect the saplings from deer and rabbits) and bamboo canes, as well as covering tree transport and Ethical, Responsibility and Sustainability (ERS) management.
Over 500 UK schools have benefitted from the School Tree Nurseries initiative, and Nikwax is proud to have played their part in it.
The South East Rivers Trust (SERT) got in touch with us in January 2019 to discuss their Urban Rivers Guardian Scheme, which aims to help reconnect communities with the rivers right on their doorsteps. Their project focusses on three rivers in south London; the Hogsmill, Beverley Brook and Wandle. Urban rivers are under huge environmental stress due to high population densities, but the same large populations living along them also provide opportunities. By working in these urban areas SERT hopes to mobilise local communities to help improve the health of their local river; getting more people out enjoying and caring for their local environment as well as raising awareness of the current state of our amazing, but often overlooked, urban rivers.
To achieve this, SERT has started recruiting a team of enthusiastic “Urban River Guardians” who adopt a stretch of their local river and carry out litter picks along the banks, with equipment and training provided throughout the project. With a Nikwax grant, SERT would be able to facilitate Urban River Guardians adopting, and therefore improving, over 40 km of urban river.
Our funding would be used by SERT to buy and distribute more equipment, enabling them to expand their team of Urban River Guardians to meet the high number of requests they are receiving.
An Urban River Guardian kit contains everything a new volunteer needs to take their first steps towards helping their local river. This includes: litter picker, bag hoop and bin bags, gloves and pollution reporting information.
It costs SERT £25 to recruit, train and distribute an Urban River Guardians kit to a new volunteer, and a £1000 grant from Nikwax would allow them to recruit 40 extra volunteers in 2019.