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2020 / 2021 Edition

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EPC-UK commit to Trent Rivers Trust campaign

Huthwaite Brook clear-up

Company volunteers demonstrate award-winning potential with waterway clean-up operation

CELEBRATING their commitment to a series of schemes designed to achieve both local and wider-reaching environmental benefits, EPC-UK say that volunteers from their Derbyshire-based Rough Close Works operation have not only been integral to a clean-up project of the Huthwaite Brook, but will also be attending this year’s ‘River Friendly Business Awards’– a commemorative ceremony initiated by the Trent Rivers Trust, with accolades based on further delivering the Trust’s ‘Only Rain Down the Drain’ message; an initiative created to encourage local companies to adopt river-friendly philosophies within their business practices.

The Trust’s campaign involves: encouraging company staff members to report cited incidents of pollution seen within industrial estates or elsewhere; ensuring water used to wash vehicles does not contaminate rainwater systems; recognizing the importance of correctly draining toilets, sinks and foul-water draining equipment; storing oils, chemicals and wastes appropriately; understanding the importance of spill kits and how to use them effectively to prevent chemicals entering water drains; and marking rainwater drains to help with identification.

In addition, companies involved in the campaign can nominate an in-house Brook Champion to monitor and improve waterways that are local to business operations and report relevant findings and cases of pollution to internal staff and the Trent Rivers Trust.

Since staff volunteers from EPC-UK’s Rough Close Works operation, in Alfreton – including safety advisor Gabby Fasey, laboratory supervisor Chris Chandler, Minexplo operations manager Paul Butler and magazine supervisor Zol Bacon – all took part in an ‘Action Day’ clean-up of Huthwaite Brook in October 2016, the company has worked keenly to maintain waterway cleanliness and further its river-friendly ethos.

The clean-up operation involved clearing overgrown vegetation to enhance river flow and improve wildlife habitats across a section of waterway which is a tributary of Alfreton Brook and flows to the river Amber, then on to both the river Derwent and the Trent.

Commenting on the success of the voluntary clean-up operation, Julie Wozniczka at Trent Rivers Trust said: ‘The Action Days have made a massive difference. We have made clearings along some 400m, to let in some daylight and allow people to see the brook. People are now seeing lots of different plants and wildlife.’

Following the clean-up task, EPC-UK have strived to implement the Trust’s ‘Only Rain Down the Drain’ directives and will discover at the award event if they have achieved a Bronze, Silver or Gold accolade for their efforts.

The company has also been approached by Trent Rivers Trust and the Environment Agency in relation to removing Westhouse’s Weir on a part of Alfreton Brook which runs through Rough Close Works, a structure which at present acts as complete barrier to fish movement. The weir’s removal would serve to support sustainable fisheries and allow the brook to flow more naturally.

‘We believe the Trent Rivers Trust’s purpose and objectives could not be more important and it’s been a pleasure to be involved with the organization’s vital initiatives,’ said Ben Williams, managing director of EPC-UK.

‘We look forward to participating in the Trust’s next weir project, and hope that our input provides the results and environmental benefits it is hoping to achieve.

‘Taking part in such activities is very important to EPC-UK and forms part of our environmentally focused company culture. Aside from providing ‘buffer land’ across the country – necessary for providing us with space to conduct activities safely – the EPC-UK land at Rough Close Works has been used to benefit the ecosystem, whether through planting farming crops and sapling trees; conducting wildlife conservation; installing field and water course buffer strips; helping to create farmland bird food sources; or protecting landscapes and biodiversity.

‘Taking our responsibilities seriously, we are committed to the Trent Rivers Trust’s campaign, and will continue to help raise both awareness and any necessary concerns regarding our waterway’s environmental condition, whilst making concerted efforts to ensure that across our Alfreton works, only rain goes down the drain.’

Whilst EPC-UK’s work with Trent Rivers Trust continues, the blast specialists are also helping to reverse the decline in UK bee species by keeping bee hives at Rough Close Works, and striving to make all company cars used on site electrically powered, as part of a four-year agenda to take yet further responsibility for environmental care and improvement, protect wildlife species, and reduce vehicle emissions.

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