Nutrition student explains the benefits of a weekly veg box

Veg Box People has been supplying weekly bags of locally-grown veg to staff and students at Manchester Met since the start of this academic year. Each week we have customers excited about our super fresh, local, organic produce, as well as sharing top recipes and discussing the world of food. So rather than keeping it to ourselves, we thought we’d let one of our lovely customers tell you why they love being a Veg Box Person and why you should be one too!

Andrew Sheffield is a Nutrition student at Manchester Met and has been a Veg Box People customer for 7 months now. Andrew came across us following an inspiring lecture about local veg box schemes and, after researching a number of schemes, felt that we looked like the best one (we agree!).

Andrew Sheffield
Andrew collecting his veg bag. 

Since getting the veg box Andrew said he has learnt both to appreciate seasonality and to cook with different veg “there is more excitement – I looking forward to seasons changing which you don’t get when everything is accessible all the time”

Andrew’s favourite veg is Purple Sprouting Broccoli and favourite recipes that he’s cooked with our veg so far have been Cauliflower fritters in a curry spiced batter and Sauerkraut. Cabbage was a bit of a challenge at first he told us, but this is no longer the case after discovering Sauerkraut! And if he’s ever stuck, he turns to “Leiths veggie bible” (a cook book by Polly Tyrer).

Andrew feels it is important to support a local veg box co-operative, to support local farmers and community, but also to secure the sustainability of British farming and produce and to protect the environment too. He sees a future where there is an injection of young academics with nutritional knowledge working with the farming and agricultural sector, to create more efficiency for small scale farmers – to make it a viable living and more accessible (sounds good to us!).

Andrew thinks this model of farmers and customers working together is definitely replicable across the UK. ‘I’ve told everyone on my course about it. People need to be supported in building motivation to cook and to learn about seasonality’. Andrew feels sure that as more people become informed about it, it will spread quickly – so a big thanks to Andrew for helping us do just that!

To follow Andrews advice you can sign up to receive a lovely box of fresh, local, organic veg on our website, or come and visit us  on Thursdays to find out more (we’re at Birley Campus from 11.15 -12.30 and All Saints outside the Business School from 1 – 2.30). We look forward to seeing you soon!

Veg Box People

Nutrition student explains the benefits of a weekly veg box

Surveying a success at Birley Woodland

Since Birley Campus opened back in 2014, the Environment Team have worked closely with Hulme Garden Centre, a local, not-for-profit community-led organisation and charity to deliver a number of on-going and one-off projects.

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One of these projects, commissioned back in 2015 were two woodland areas. We were interested in how we could enhance existing areas on campus and create on-going opportunities for our students, staff and communities to engage with the space.

Consequently, the Garden Centre commenced a woodland development project, which to date has introduced a range of edible and medicinal plants to the areas through planting days, seen the creation of pathways and more accessible spaces, and the installation of additional habitat spaces, including our very own insect hotel.

Most recently, on 17th May, the Environment Team and Garden centre held a biodiversity survey day, open to students, staff, and the public. A range of students came along to offer their time and skills to help identify the plants.

Across the day, Kath Gavin, Sustainability Co-ordinator, Hulme Garden Centre, worked with our students and staff to introduce plant surveying and identification techniques and methods.

Some of our students were already very familiar with these techniques, coming from the ‘Wildlife Biology’ course, other less so, studying courses unrelated to the surveying activities. It demonstrated that no matter what your level of knowledge or experience, all participants with guidance and support, were able to identify a range of species across the woodland areas.

In just one of the woodland areas, our students identified 55 varieties of plants including shrubs, grasses, perennials, creepers, climbers and trees.

The data collected will contribute towards Manchester Met’s annual biodiversity surveying, which ultimately provides the means to understand how we manage, maintain, enhance and protect species and habitats across the University’s estate.

The surveying already undertaken and the next phase of surveying in the Birley woodland areas will provide invaluable information, which could reveal a wealth of wildlife and habitats in these areas.

Natacha, first year Wildlife Biology student commented “it was good to get some more hands-on in the field type of experience. I was surprised by the amount of habitats around the Birley campus- I wasn’t aware that MMU did that much to provide some valuable islands for wildlife and plants here in the city. I would most definitely come to another event”

The outcomes and benefits of developing the Birley Woodland areas to date have been plentiful, and there will be further opportunities in June through to September to get involved in the continued development and maintenance of the area, as well as plant and wildlife surveying.

Surveying a success at Birley Woodland

Corridor Manchester’s Annual Cycle Event

Save the date!

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The 2017 Corridor Manchester’s Annual Cycle Event (ACE) is being hosted by the University of Manchester and will take place at University Place on Thursday 15 June, 8am-3pm.

The well-established event is now in its 11th year and will play host to a variety of stalls, activities, competitions, entertainment, demonstrations, workshops and retailers all aiming to support current cyclists and encourage people to take up cycling to improve well-being and reduce carbon emissions. Join us to find out more about the Oxford Road transformation, there will be bike sales and competitions, a plant sale and musical performance from Corridor Partner RNCM’s students.

The event has been organised to coincide with National Clean Air Day, something very relatable to cycling. There will be plenty of information available on the day surrounding National Clean Air Day and the event is a part of TfGM’s wider National Clean Air Day activities across Manchester.

So whether you’re already a keen cyclist or you’re a complete novice looking to get started, pop down and get involved in our fun packed day. It’s open to all members of staff from the University and Corridor Group partners.

For more information and to register your free place visit ACE 2017.

Corridor Manchester is an Innovation District, south of Manchester city centre, running the length of Oxford Road from St Peter’s Square to Whitworth Park, and West from Higher Cambridge Street to Upper Brook street in the East. Partnership include University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University, Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester Science Park & Central Manchester University Hospitals.

Corridor Manchester’s Annual Cycle Event

GIVE IT, DON’T BIN IT THIS SUMMER WITH POP SWAP

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Give It, Don’t Bin It is a Manchester Metropolitan University and city-wide campaign which encourages you to donate your clothes, books, electricals and unopened, non-perishable food to charity to help those in need.

When students move out of accommodation, they can simply drop unwanted items at a local donation bank to donate to the British Heart Foundation and Manchester Central Food Bank.

This term Pop Swap joins forces with GIDBI to save even more from the bin and give staff and students the opportunity to swap unloved items before they are donated. Having a clear out why not drop of any unwanted items and we will donate it to help those in need. We will also be collecting for Manchester Central Foodbank, if you have any unopened, non-perishable food items that you can donate to help the most vulnerable in Manchester please bring them along. We will be accepting the usual clothing, shoes, accessories & books for swapping

Join us on Wednesday 24th May for an afternoon of swapping from 12.30 – 2.30pm in Room 1.22 Business School. More information here: http://www2.mmu.ac.uk/bigimpact//events/detail/index.php?id=5119

Your items go to the British Heart Foundation and Manchester Central Foodbank to raise funds and redistribute food to the people who need it.

Last year staff and students donated an amazing 124 tonnes of items to the British Heart Foundation (BHF), which raised a massive £230,723 to help support lifesaving research and treatments. Students also donated the equivalent of 1360 meals, which helped local people experiencing food poverty.

For more information about the campaign, visit: www.giveitdontbinit.co.uk

GIVE IT, DON’T BIN IT THIS SUMMER WITH POP SWAP

Travel Choices Accreditation Scheme – Gold Award

The University has recently been awarded the Gold Travel Choices standard for its sustained commitment towards promoting sustainable travel.

In its inaugural year, the Transport for Greater Manchester accreditation scheme recognises businesses who have championed sustainable travel and rewards companies that have taken steps to reduce their impact on the environment through work based schemes and improvements.

Transport for Greater Manchester commended the University’s commitment and efforts in helping to improve the health and wellbeing of staff, reducing congestion and improving the air quality for everyone in Greater Manchester.

Some of the University’s achievements include:

  • The reintroduction of the Cycle to work scheme where 150+ cycles have been purchased (a new window will be opening early next month), using local transport funding to increase our cycle parking capacity by 150+ spaces over the last 12 months and supporting a number of bus service to improve the accessibility of the Estate.
  • Single Occupancy Vehicle rates on the Manchester Campus have decreased from 31% to 26% over the last 3 years and a number of loans and travel  discounts continue to be available to assist those travelling by non-car modes. The Oxford Road Bus Priority works are due to be completed at the end of this week and highlight the wider investment in improving sustainable travel options.
  • We have also invested in Ultra Low Emission Vehicles (ULEV) by hosting 36 charging points on campus and improving the operational fleet to remove aging diesel models as recognised by the University achieving Go Ultra Low status. Our Mail, Reprographics and Security teams have all benefit from having ULEV’s as part of their daily routines. All colleagues can also take advantage of the MMU Pool Cars for business trips via the 100% electric fleet.
  • Our partnership work with the Corridor organisations and our neighbours in Hulme was also key in receiving this accreditation. Look out for the forthcoming Corridor Annual Cycle Event.

The University’s Estate continues to evolve, bringing new opportunities and challenges from a travel and access perspective. The Travel Team are working closely with a number of partners to help further improve the accessibility of the Estate, the support and input of colleagues is a critical part of the journey.

Please do not hesitate to contact the Travel Team if you require any further information about your travel options (stafftravel@mmu.ac.uk or 0161 247 2989).

Travel Team

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Andrew Taylor & Jason Smith of the Travel Team receiving Gold Award.

 

Travel Choices Accreditation Scheme – Gold Award

Sign-up for the European Cycling Challenge 2017

We are supporting the European Cycle Challenge (ECC) and need all Man Met Cyclists to get on the leader boards during May.

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The European Cycling Challenge (ECC) is an ‘urban cycling’ competition taking place between 1 May and 31 May 2017. It started in Bologna, Italy, with around 70 people, but is now one of the biggest European cycling events.  In 2016, 52 cities from 17 countries joined the challenge, and 46,000 people cycled 4,000,000km during the event. The city that ‘cycles the longest total distance’ wins.

This year Greater Manchester is taking part for the first time, and the entry will be led and promoted by Transport for Greater Manchester.

Anyone can join in, it’s easy to take part and you don’t have to be a cycling enthusiast. Any cycling you do counts towards the challenge, only competitive sporting events and static bike miles aren’t included.

 How to join in

– Download Naviki in the app store on your smartphone (follow these instructions to participate without a smartphone).

– Register and Sign in.

– Go to ‘Settings’ on the home page.

– Go to ‘Contests’ and then ‘ECC2017’.

– Select ‘Greater Manchester’ as your team.

– Select ‘Manchester Metropolitan University’ as your sub team.

 Prizes

There will be spot prizes to be won throughout the challenge direct from the ECC, including shopping vouchers of £150, £75 and £50 every week. To qualify for the weekly raffle you just have to have registered and logged a minimum of 10km to be entered.

Sign-up for the European Cycling Challenge 2017

Birley Woodland Biodiversity Survey – get involved!

Manchester Met will be assessing biodiversity value in its own backyard by surveying areas on campus… and we want your help! The aim is to survey plants, herbs, invertebrates and trees and map their locations and species.

We are offering you the opportunity to work alongside staff from Manchester Met and local naturists so you can gain useful survey and species identification skills.

Your work will contribute directly to a survey for Manchester Met, which will be repeated in future years to track populations and communities as changes are made to the campus.

Date: Wednesday 17th May

Time: 10.30am – 4pm.

What to bring: Packed lunch, suitable boots and waterproofs / warm clothing.

So what are you waiting for?! To get involved please sign up here.

Birley Woodland Biodiversity Survey – get involved!