Keep me posted: An unusual collaboration

As part of our series on environmentally friendly developments in our postal coverage areas, we take a look back at an unusual collaboration between a housing developer and an environmental charity during 2015.

Bennett’s Patch and White’s Paddock is Avon Wildlife Trusts newest nature reserve, created during Bristol’s European Green Capital Year. Set in the heart of the Avon Gorge, the reserve has been modeled as an essential resource for bats, badgers, hedgehogs, as well as a number of unique and rare plants.

BP1Photo: Hugh Strange

Julie Docherty, Community Engagement and Volunteering Manager for Avon Wildlife Trust, explained how the development came about:

“Avon Wildlife Trust purchased the 12 acre site in 2014 from Bristol and West Building Society. The site had been previously used as a football ground, but had been unused since 2000, and had become subject to fly-tipping and neglect. In clearing the site we even discovered two unexploded World War 2 bombs!

“Despite these challenges the location was excellent, being easily accessible, and nestled amongst national trust woodland, the spectacular Avon Gorge as well as Leigh Woods. It is also an excellent base from which to showcase the ‘My Wild City’ project, aiming to create a nature rich urban environment in Bristol.

“With the help of over 800 volunteers from the scouts, schools, and other voluntary organisations, the site was transformed with the planting of thousands of trees to create a woodland area and meadows. It also has a wheelchair friendly trail running through the site, as well as toilet facilities on site.” 

BP2 Photo: Hugh Strange

As part of the development of the site, Avon Wildlife Trust collaborated with HAB Housing to deliver a volunteer and events cabin from which to base its operations, as Julie explained:

“The cabin is used for monthly volunteer meetings, as well as a café for community events, and even a holiday club for school children. It means that activities can take place in all weathers. The building will be celebrating its first birthday on April 24th, with events taking place between 2pm – 5pm” 

HAB Housing were keen to take on the project. Director Kevin McCloud describes the ethos behind the project:

“At HAB we focus on the spaces in-between buildings as much as the architecture itself. We like to weave green spaces that provide rich habitats for human beings and wildlife alike. What we love about this project is that it’s all about the outdoors – the building is simply a means to allow people to care for and enjoy the ecology of the place. Collaborating with Avon Wildlife Trust on this project has been a great way to kick off an important year for Bristol – as European Green Capital 2015.”

BP3Photo: Hugh Strange

We look forward to more collaborations of this type in future! Of course, if we come across any, we’ll keep you posted!

To find out more about Avon Wildlife Trust’s “My Wild City” project, visit: http://www.avonwildlifetrust.org.uk/mywildcity

 

 

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Saturday 23rd January saw the 1st round of the Sulis Scorpions’ Velopost Youth Series take place at Odd Down Cycle Circuit in Bath.

Sulis Scorpions Rider focus: Jenson Harris

Off the back ofVelopost Training a successful local Winter Cyclocross Season, Jenson was racing his 1st Cat C closed circuit under 12 series and was ready for the off. The field was a 32 strong mix of under 12s & 14s Boys & Girls.

Having assembled on the start line, Jenson found himself squeezed to the back of a hungry and more experienced line up. The bell rang for the start and by the 1st corner, 2 distinctive groups had already formed, leaving Jenson in no man’s land with no wheel to sit on. Without any loss of enthusiasm or determnation, Jenson rode his race, unable to catch a wheel, pretty much on his own. After 20 minutes of hard riding, Jenson finished with a smile on his face and a real sense of achievement and gained a point for his effort.

What a star !!

After the race Jenson was asked if he enjoyed the race. Jenson replied “I enjoyed the race but it was tough at times as the bottom circuit is very windy and there were some really strong riders out there. I’m now focusing on Round 3 as I cannot make the 2nd round due to performing on stage. This gives me some time to get some more training in and hopefully close the gap”.

The next round is on February 20th at Odd Down Cycle Circuit. Bring it on!

 

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We sit, like the frog, in a warming pan of water

Last week we attended the Bristol Green Capital 2015 Awards, where organisations from all across Bristol were recognised for their hard work throughout the year. The evening was a fantastic celebration of green innovation and enterprise and it was truly inspirational to see.

We were delighted to be given the opportunity to speak at the event, and you can read the transcript of Dave’s speech below. Rest assured that we won’t be resting on our laurels as the Green Capital year ends! A new year brings new opportunities – let’s make 2015 a catalyst for enduring and powerful change.

Bristol 2015 European Green Capital Awards  Dave Broadway - MD Velopost Date: 12/11/15 Photographer: Michael Lloyd/Freelance Reporter:  Katie Pavid Copyright: Local World

Bristol 2015 European Green Capital Awards
Dave Broadway – MD Velopost
Date: 12/11/15
Photographer: Michael Lloyd/Freelance
Reporter: Katie Pavid
Copyright: Local World

Ladies and Gentlemen

We are living in dangerous times, all the more so because the danger is insidious. We sit, like the frog, in a warming pan of water. If we were dropped straight into boiling water we would react, but the gradual changes we see don’t register – until it’s too late.

The signs are all there. The ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica are melting faster than anticipated. Permafrost in Canada and Alaska is warming faster than expected. New records for worldwide temperatures are being set. Storms, droughts and floods are more common than ever before.

And yet governments cannot agree on the actions to take.

In the UK we have seen support for renewables removed while fracking gets the green light. Governments worldwide continue to pump support into fossil fuels – as much as £3.5 billion from the UK alone.

It’s hard to understand why governments behave as they do. Ideology? Bribery? Stupidity? Who knows?

But what kind of world are our “leaders” going to hand on to our kids, our grand-kids and our great grand-kids?

You think immigration and refugees are bad now. Imagine it when 20% of land mass is covered by rising sea levels, when 30% of Africa and the Middle East have temperatures over 50 degrees and are unlivable.

You think wars are bad now. Imagine the wars when billions of people are trying to relocate. When farm land is at such a premium that it’s fight for your land or starve.

You think we are seeing big storms, and that 200mph winds are high. Wait until we have pumped another 20 years of energy and heat into our atmosphere.

We are at the stage in the pan where little bubbles are forming. When it really starts to boil you will see far, far worse.

Sounds dramatic? Yes of course it sounds dramatic, but perhaps that’s because you are thinking like a frog in a gently warming pan?

It is a privilege to be here tonight to present awards to those who do care, and who are taking action. When our governments let us down, it is up to us to try.

The people and companies here tonight HAVE taken action. Are trying to do the right thing, and many have achieved a great deal.

As for us? CFH Docmail, the owners of Velopost, are a £45 million print and post company. We produce and deliver documents in the most cost effective, efficient and environmentally friendly way possible.

Our Velopost service provides the only fossil fuel free postal service in the UK.

Our Docmail product saves money on print and post, but also saves over 10 million miles of fossil fuel use every year.

Our Dotpost service lets you deliver online documents using UK servers powered only by renewable energy.

We have spent £500,000 on solar power, £400,000 planting trees with the Woodland Trust. Over £100,000 on LED lights and similar power saving, and over £1m establishing a fossil fuel free postal service.

But we are not doing enough!

You have all started down the road and are leading the rest. But there is always more than we can, and must do, because none of us want our grand children to inherit a world torn by floods, droughts, storms, starvation and war.

So please let us celebrate some of the leaders in the battle to preserve our environment, but even while we celebrate and enjoy the evening, let’s never forget how truly important this battle is.

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Send a happy thought

Last weekend we discovered the ‘Send A Happy Thought’ project run by Helen Brittain (of ‘Helen Makes Paper’). The project involves the hand-writing of positive messages by members of the public, who then post them at random to residents who have asked to take part.

Helen displayed some of her beautiful handmade paper at the Bishopston, Redland and Cotham community fayre, and as part of the Send A Happy Thought project encouraged attendees to the stand to send a happy thought to somebody in Bristol. We think it’s a lovely idea. Hand-crafted mail is unique, special, and a joy to receive, particularly when coupled with positive messages.

We were very pleased to host a pop-up postbox at the event – any items sent last weekend as part of Send A Happy Thought will be delivered by Velopost, so if you’ve registered with the project, keep an eye on the mailbox!

Here are some pictures from the event:

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For more information on Helen’s wonderful handmade paper take a look at her website: http://www.helenmakespaper.com

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A few bugs!

Entries are flooding in for our Big Bugs stamp design competition, in partnership with Bristol Zoo! This example, from Olivia (5) shows a beautiful Ladybird in a lush green environment, complete with a Bumble Bee in the background.

by Olivia, Age 5

by Olivia, Age 5

All of the details about the competition can be found on our new Bugs By Design page. We will update this page with an image gallery containing a selection of entries, as well as announcing the winner after the closing date of the 28th July.

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100 IDEAS Office exhibition: 16th June – 26th June

We are very excited to have a postbox on display as a part of the fantastic 100 IDEAS Office exhibition, which opened today in the OpenSpace event space in the centre of Bristol.

Other ideas on display include an amazing virtual reality demonstration – this really has to be seen to be believed! – as well as a 3D printer, a desk which can be raised and lowered to the benefit of the user, and sustainable ‘keep cup’ coffee mugs.

Every idea has it’s own unique postcard to accompany the display, which visitors to the exhibition can collect and post using Velopost, by sticking a Velopost stamp onto the postcard and dropping it in the Velopost box, on display as idea #10.

The event lasts for two weeks and is being held at OpenSpace Bristol, West One,
St. George’s Road, Bristol, BS1 5BE – from 9.30am – 6pm. See our picture gallery below for some pictures from the opening event, and if you manage to make it along, tell us about your favorite exhibit in the comments!

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South West Business website launched

Last week we attended the re-launch of the new South West Business website at the University of West of England in Bristol.

The new site hosts a daily e-briefing covering the latest news from your area, a business calendar to list upcoming events, as well as an extensive array of in depth news and information – all of which can be sorted by sector or location.

We’ll be adding details of our events, exhibitions, competitions, etc. to the calendar, so stay tuned!

http://www.southwestbusiness.co.uk,

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Grow your business with bicycle post

At Velopost we pride ourselves on being a fossil-fuel free postal service, utilising the best of the old (bicycles) and the best of the new (electric vehicles) to cut the environmental and economic cost of carbon out of our logistics.

This is against the trend, with the news that Royal Mail have replaced their bicycles in Bristol with vans and trolleys last month:

Delivering bad news: Bristol posties to have their bicycles taken away

The days of seeing postmen and women cycling through the streets dropping off letters with a ding of the bicycle bell and a flick of the postbag are now over, as Royal Mail has taken away the last remaining post bikes in Bristol.

http://www.southwestbusiness.co.uk/news/29042015091051-delivering-bad-news–bristol-posties-to-have-their-bicycles-taken-away

At Velopost we believe that bicycle post makes sense environmentally and economically. By sticking with bicycles we are able to cut the postage costs on local mail against conventional services by up to 40% – savings that we can pass directly to our customers as a result.

As a new YouGov/Ebay survey shows, these savings could make the difference between a growing business and a stagnating one.

Digital small businesses fear postage costs and delivery logistics will hamper growth

Postage costs and delivery logistics are deemed to be the biggest barriers to growth in the next 12 months by digital small businesses, according to a new study of online business sentiment by eBay.

Nearly a third (31 per cent) of businesses surveyed by YouGov on behalf of the online marketplace said that postage costs and delivery logistics will limit the growth of their business in the coming year.

A further 74 per cent said that the cost of overseas shipping is an obstacle that limits their ability to reach customers in new markets and trade outside the UK.

Increasing competition in their sector is also a concern for one in four small businesses (25 per cent) as they assess their short term growth prospects.

In contrast, less than one in 10 (7 per cent) small online businesses surveyed are concerned about a lack of suitable staff, challenging assertions of an apparent skills crisis. Just 10 per cent regard staff wages and pension costs as barriers to growth.

With a General Election around the corner, small businesses have a clear view on the government support needed to help online businesses thrive. Some 48 per cent of the business owners surveyed also called for taxes to be lowered for all businesses, with 31 per cent calling for investment in faster broadband, and 27 per cent for improved postal and delivery services. Some 17 per cent believe there should be better advice for small businesses about setting up and running an online business, while 16 per cent think there should be more police effort to tackle cybercrime and fraud.

http://www.smeinsider.com/2015/04/13/digital-small-businesses-fear-postage-costs-and-delivery-logistics-will-hamper-growth/

The post-script is thus: using bicycle post is not only an environmentally friendly decision, but an economically sound one too!

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Our first postbox

Since 2011 Velopost have delivered hundreds and thousands of letters by bicycle for businesses and organisations within the Bristol postcode area, collecting and posting for customers on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. We are delighted to inform you that we’re now able to expand our cycle delivery service by providing an alternative post-box for everybody in Bristol to use.

Our first publicly accessible postbox is based in the Tourism Office on the Waterfront – this is also where you can purchase your Velopost postage stamps. Our stamps are self-adhesive and are designed to be stuck to your mail in the normal way.

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So, if you are a business or organisation that does not have a dedicated office from where we can collect your post, you are now able to use Velopost! Similarly, if you are a private individual who would like to save money on postage by using an environmentally friendly and locally based service, we are now an option for you! Why not try Velopost for your local birthday cards, wedding invites, Christmas cards – even love letters for Valentine’s Day?

We conduct a regular collection daily – Monday to Friday – at the Tourist Information Centre, and can make extra collections on request – just ask at the counter.

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