Mike Russell from Designs with Nature received the ‘Local Services’ award from the Shropshire Hills Area of Natural Beauty (AONB) in early February, in recognition of his valuable contribution towards the Shropshire Hills Sustainable Business Scheme Pledge.
Jodie Griffith, from the Shropshire Hills AONB Partnership, explained “We organised this event to say thank you to the local businesses who continue to support the
Sustainable Business Scheme.”
The Business Scheme has been running for five years and members pledge to become more sustainable by working towards reducing their impact on the environment, enhancing wildlife and landscape, involving local people and visitors and supporting the local economy.
Mike said “as a bespoke garden design and build company, Designs with Nature is always striving to be sustainable. We know it’s important to value, support and use local products, services and suppliers”. Mike continued “to have been nominated for this award is wonderful; it means we are being recognised for achieving the pledges of sustainability that we have made to ourselves, our clients, the community and the planet”.
The Sustainable Business Pledge Scheme for Mike’s business includes acting locally but thinking globally, planting native plants and trees, promoting and helping people grow their own organic fruit, vegetables & herbs, creating and promoting wildlife gardens, woodlands, wetlands and meadows. Mike said “we encourage composting, gardening organically, recycling, water conservation and the use of reclaimed materials”.
With experience in creating outdoor spaces for communities and schools, Mike continued “where possible we use local craftspeople, artists and plant suppliers within the gardens that we design and build, we also strive to incorporate wildlife habitats which is vital for a sustainable future. Our gardens make up the largest nature reserve in the country, so we need to work with nature and not against it”.
Garden designer Mike continued “it is great to be recognised for the work that we do, and just as importantly the way that we do it. We will continue to make pledges for a greener business and sustainable future”.
Mike is currently working very locally on a public sensory garden in his home town of Church Stretton. Time, materials and plants have been donated by his team
to realise the dream of the Church Stretton Play Area Group, to create a sensory garden that can be enjoyed by children of all abilities. The design and build of the garden has been undertaken by Mike and his team and includes an impressive labyrinth, wildflower meadow as well as sensory planting based around the senses.
The award from the Shropshire Hills AONB adds to Mike’s impressive list of awards, which include a Gold award from the 2011 Shrewsbury Flower Show, a Silver Gilt medal at the 2011 Royal Horticultural Malvern Spring Gardening Show and in 2010 Mike won Gold and Best at Show at the Shrewsbury Flower Show for a garden designed for Headway. Mike has also scooped two other RHS Silver Gilt Awards in the past at BBC Gardeners World Live.