White Rose Shopping Centre has worked with students from Elliott Hudson College to place 13 specially-designed hedgehog houses in its outdoor Woodland Walk, creating new safe havens for nature in the area.
A-Level Product Design students were given the brief by Shopping Centre to create eco-friendly hedgehog houses using sustainable materials, designed to be in keeping with the surrounding environment and made to benefit the hedgehogs as a safe place away from predators when emerging from hibernation or during birthing.
After a presentation of prototypes by Year 12 students to the White Rose environmental and biodiversity team, feedback was used feedback to create the hedgehog houses to be placed along the Woodland Walk.
Steven Foster, Centre Director at White Rose: “While our guests know our great stores and restaurants well, many may not be as familiar with the glorious grounds around White Rose. We’re exceptionally proud of our work to make the Woodland Walk and surrounding areas a safe, nurturing place for local wildlife, and are delighted with the hedgehog houses that Elliott Hudson students have created for us. We look forward to catching a glimpse of our resident hedgehogs and hoglets enjoying them for years to come.”
Miriam Olutayo, Teacher of Product Design at Elliott Hudson College: “The opportunity that EHC Product design students have had has been enormously beneficial to their A-level qualification. Students are required to answer a brief for the non-exam assessed component of their course. In order to do this, they need to work with a ‘real client’ on a ‘real problem’. The White Rose team have worked with students as their ‘clients’ and provided students with the ‘problem’ of ‘threats to biodiversity’.
For design students, even at degree level, to have the chance to work authentically with big corporate clients like this is a rarity and will be the first ‘live brief’ my students can add to their CV’s. The time given by the White Rose team, on site visits, in-college presentations, and award ceremonies along with their thoughtful feedback and regular emails is hugely appreciated by myself and all the students. The students will undoubtedly access higher marks because of the high-quality outcomes they have been motivated to produce.”
White Rose has introduced a number of schemes to nurture nature and the environment in South Leeds. The Centre’s roof is home to 2,900 solar panels – one of the largest systems of its kind in the UK, generating enough electricity to power 200 homes for a year – as well as White Rose’s own honeybee hives, a vital pollinator of local plants.
White Rose also uses recycled rainwater to take advantage of around 40,000 ‘free’ gravity-fed flushes each year, and diverts 100% of the centre’s waste from landfill through recycling as well as the centre’s own on-site anaerobic digesters.
The Centre’s grounds have been awarded by both Leeds in Bloom and Yorkshire in Bloom as well as the British Association of Land Industries, and all grass cuttings and pruning waste from the site are turned into mulch and reused.
For more information on the centre, visit www.white-rose.co.uk
Cover photograph l to r: Miriam Olutayo, Adam Bishop and Siobhan Noble.