Shurton Wellbeing Garden – a healthy and eco-friendly initiative

January 30, 2020

In Linxon we consider the welfare of our people a priority and welcome any internal effort aimed at improving it. For this reason, we are delighted to share with you the Shurton Wellbeing Garden, a voluntary initiative led by Sadina ‘Sid’ Keogh, site Supervisor, which has included the active participation of the whole of the Shurton site and project team.

As part of National Grid’s Hinkley Connection Project (a UK strategic wider works programme) Linxon are National Grid’s chosen contractor for the construction of the connection between Shurton substation and the adjacent Hinkley Point C nuclear generation site.

The project started design in January 2018 and site works started in April 2019. The site’s efforts have been focused on designing, manufacturing and installing the Shurton 400-kV GIS indoor substation, which will provide double circuit connections to existing substations at Taunton and Melksham. Gas-insulated busbars will connect switchgear to overhead line and cable circuits.

Hinkley Point C is the first nuclear power station to be built in the UK in a generation. It will provide low-carbon electricity for around six million homes and bring lasting socio-economic benefits, including wide-ranging and potentially life-changing employment opportunities.

Concerned about promoting a healthier work environment for everyone, Sid came up with a fantastic idea: a garden that would provide a calming atmosphere even during the most challenging workdays while having a positive environmental impact by encouraging bees.

This was an ambitious project that required the participation of many people, so Sid encouraged the whole of the Shurton team, including contractors and sub-contractors to works towards creating it, and Linxon, H&A (civil contractor) and Venn (sub-contractor) provided sponsorship. Thus, everything used within the garden was recycled or upcycled, part of the sponsorship was donated to local charity in exchange for plants (from a garden centre that was closing down), and the team involved contributed their own spare time to work on it to make this garden project a reality.

The result: a lovely space adjacent to the Shurton site offices where the whole team has integrated the benefits of a peaceful resting environment at work with the importance of preserving local wildlife. How? During their spare time, several employees participated in the Great British Bee Count (GBBC), an organisation responsible for performing, among other things, a rigorous analysis of these images in order to prevent the diversity and abundance decline of bees, whose existence is extremely important for British ecosystems.

But this does not stop here. It turns out that this project has recently become an award-winning idea!

In November, Sid won the Hinkley Connection Project’s monthly SHES award for her inspiring work in the creation of said garden. This award covers the entire Hinkley Connection works being undertaken by National Grid, as well as 5 separate contracts and contractors. Furthermore, one of the team members, Sandra Farenden, has been singled out within the Linxon project for the Linxon monthly SHES award.

Having a garden is a source of relaxation, comfort and enjoyment for millions of people and can be hugely beneficial to mental health, since it may foster a stronger sense of happiness and engagement in the workplace. What is more, the UK Forestry Commission stated that a natural space encourages recharging our brains and helps us to continue focusing on certain tasks. Hence the Shurton Wellbeing Garden is extremely beneficial for our peers’ health.

We are very happy to count with the Shurton site team, which cares so much about joint welfare, and acknowledge the tremendous effort that went into making this garden initiative a reality. All our employees are encouraged to take a moment to think about what could be done to benefit a healthy environment everyone.