On Woodhouse Moor Baht ‘at

It all began Pancake Eve when I received a somewhat flustered call from Herabans Kaur (Widening Participation Officer at Leeds University).  She explained that the university was running a CSR evening and had been let down by one of the speakers at the 11th hour.  Ever the knight in shining armour I agreed to fill in.  The following evening I took to the stage and presented on all things Starfish (PM’s corporate responsibility programme).  As a veteran of the Home-Start Christmas parties (usually dressed as one of Santa’s Elves), an avid member of the Cockburn College of Arts mentoring scheme and an all round “do-gooder”, the presentation ran smoothly.  Following the event, Pinsent Masons was invited to participate in the Woodhouse Moor Activity Day – in conjunction with Leeds University and Santander Bank.  The firm duly accepted.

Woodhouse Moor is an area that has, in recent years, seen much tension between different groups of park users – students and residents, allotment holders and footballers.  The aim of the project was to alleviate these tensions by creating a natural bulwark to protect the allotments from stray footballs whilst also allowing student volunteers to create something lasting and beautiful.  We planted around a thousand shrubs of different varieties, and then scattered wildflower seed.  The activities were led by staff from Parks and Countryside Rangers (who maintain the park) and the three ten-person teams were led by student volunteers.

Drenched in glorious spring sunshine, my crack squad (comprising Rebecca Clarke, Anne-Marie Hammond, Lucy O’Dwyer and Calvin Ching) took to the task with all the enthusiasm and technique you’d expect to see from a seasoned farm hand, rather than a bunch of legal eagles.  We dug.  We planted.  We raked.  You name it we have the blisters to prove we did it!  All in all it was a terrific and highly rewarding day, enjoyed by all – we even got a mention in the student paper.  When next walking through the park I look forward to admiring the fruits of my labour.