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FOR THE LOVE OF THE LAND supporting image

Crystal Peaks is on a mission to save the environment

There's much more to Crystal Peaks than simply shopping.


I wander onto a bridge, over a trickling stream, through some trees and out into the glorious sunshine. There is a winding path ahead of me with meadows on both sides, with patches of blossoming beds of flowers, hand-woven hedges and a variety of birds tweeting in the trees.


No, I’m not in the middle of the Derbyshire countryside. Believe it or not, this is just yards away from Crystal Peaks, where the shopping centre's involvement in a number of environmental projects is evident wherever you look.


Not only are there beautiful hanging baskets and planter tubs of colourful flowers outside Crystal Peaks’ main entrance in preparation for the Yorkshire In Bloom contest, which the centre has won for the last three years, but the surrounding land is maintained all year round by the centre's onsite landscape team to encourage biodiversity in the area.


The stumpery outside the mall`s offices is an area filled with logs and tree stumps, providing a welcome habitat for fungi and insects. Since 2009, the roof has been home to a colony of bees, which has doubled in size to four hives.


The efforts of centre manager Lee Greenwood and facilities manager Mark Jackson helped Beighton village win Britain In Bloom in the past and they were presented with the Gold Green Apple Award 2014 for their involvement in the Waterthorpe Ochre Dyke and Wildflower Corridor Project at a Houses of Parliament ceremony.


Lee explained that all these projects are part of Crystal Peaks’ landowners, Hermes', Responsible Property Investment Scheme, which considers the centre's impact on the environment. “It’s one thing to have nice planters and having the place look clean and tidy, but these days Britain and Yorkshire In Bloom are looking for a genuine commitment to the environment and the wider community as part of their judging criteria,” he said.


But it’s not just about winning awards. “We're a major landholder, covering nearly 40 acres and over the last 30 years the housing in the area has grown and grown. We are virtually on our customers’ doorsteps, so it’s important to ensure these areas are a pleasant place to live and work.”


Read more in the digital edition of Image.