Sustainable food forest ‘to give back to the community’
13 July 2023
Urenco is developing a sustainable “food forest” on a 25,000m² area of grassland next to its site in the Netherlands.
The land is being cultivated to be home to food-producing trees, shrubs and plants such as fruit, nuts, seeds, vegetables, mushrooms and edible flowers.
The aim is to enhance the environment and produce free food year-round for the local community in Almelo.
The project started recently with students from a local agricultural school helping to plant around 3,000 seeds. A bee hive has also been located at the site to produce honey, thanks to a Urenco employee who happens to be a beekeeper himself and will look after the colony.
The land, which belongs to Urenco, is located in between a wetlands area called the “Doorbraak”, meaning “break through”, and the Urenco Nederland site (UNL).
Urenco has signed a four-year social impact partnership with Krinkels in the Netherlands, which looks after public green spaces, to deliver the food forest.
Project Manager of Krinkels Hengelo, Erik Wesselink, said:
“Our partnership to develop a food forest will enhance the environment for the community as well as helping to contribute positively to the climate challenge. Together we are working up a design that everyone will see grow and develop over the years.
“The richly varied eco-system will include circular pathways, areas for wildlife, ponds and waterways as well as over 200 trees, 2,000 bushes and 20,000 herbs.”
The forest will enhance the natural environment and through its development, crops and visual appeal, the goal is to positively engage the local community.
Through our collaboration with Zone College, a local agricultural school, we’re also helping to educate students about environmentally-friendly farming.
Head of sustainability for Urenco, Rob Little, said:
“This is a great, proactive project which we hope will benefit the community for years to come, which is an important part of our sustainability strategy.
“By our third year we hope to be producing food regularly and have a space which is habitable for wildlife, therefore boosting the nearby natural environment.
“The education aspect is really important to us, too, and allows for numerous opportunities to be pursued, including a wider education on a healthy diet with locally grown ingredients.”
Urenco is an international supplier of enrichment services and fuel cycle products with sustainability at the core of its business. Operating in a pivotal area of the nuclear fuel supply chain for 50 years, Urenco facilitates zero carbon electricity generation for consumers around the world.
With its head office near London, UK, Urenco’s global presence ensures diversity and security of supply for customers through enrichment facilities in Germany, the Netherlands, the UK and the USA. Using centrifuge technology designed and developed by Urenco, and through the expertise of our people, the Urenco Group provides safe, cost effective and reliable services; operating within a framework of high environmental, social and governance standards, complementing international safeguards.
Urenco is committed to continued investment in the responsible management of nuclear materials; innovation activities with clear sustainability benefits, such as nuclear medicine, industrial efficiency and research; and nurturing the next generation of scientists and engineers.