Wellbeing in Ecology: Benefits of Growing your Own

Wellbeing in Ecology: Benefits of Growing your Own

Achieving a good work life balance can be challenging as a professional ecologist, particularly during the spring and summer when fieldwork is most intensive. It is therefore extremely important to find ways to unwind individually and as teams, through building relationships with others that go beyond the projects and the survey work.

In winter 2021/22 our Oxford team enquired about whether we could have a patch of land on the Worton Estate (on which the office is based) for growing vegetables. Our landlords were very happy to help, even installing fences and delivering a huge pile of excellent compost made on site from garden waste and horse manure. The resulting plot is approximately 8 x 9 m in size, and has been enthusiastically cultivated by the team with some impressive results. Crops being harvested at present include chard, peas, beans, cucumbers, courgettes and onions. Tomatoes and sweetcorn are starting to ripen, and there has already been a good crop of new potatoes. The vegetables are shared among the office staff.

In addition to the health benefits of the physical aspect of cultivation and the contribution the plot makes to healthy diets, it has provided a great space for unwinding. One staff member involved in the project noted “Watering, digging or planting really allows you to talk better” and that they also “…. heard cuckoos from the plot.”

Further Reading

Read about one of our recent projects – Aiding Conservation Management: Marsh Fritillary Habitat Condition Assessment

Working for BSG – Find out about our commitment to training: ‘Consultancy Skills’ Training For New Ecologists

Details of all our vacancies can be found here: Careers

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