Category Archives: News

Our Active Travel team are 1st 4 Sport with Bikeability!

Our utterly fantastic Active Travel team (Who are putting in the good work this #WalkToSchoolWeek teaching children how to safely cross the road and teaching Bikeability to help children safely cycle!) have attained their 1st 4 Sport certifications for Instructing Cycle Training! This certification is a necessity to teach Bikeability (Becoming mandatory on 31st March 2024), so our team managed to pass and complete their qualifications quickly and early, meaning they’ll be teaching Bikeability for a good while yet! Fantastic work, team!

Happy 30th Anniversary to MEC!

MEC had an absolutely fantastic 30th Birthday celebration on May 6th, attended by past and present members of staff, board members, special guests and more! We’ve attached a gallery highlighting the guests, the speeches and more: It was a fantastic day for reflection, and hopefully we’ll be celebrating more anniversaries to come!

Rooted in Nature at Ormesby Hall

Rooted in Nature is a fantastic project, supporting wellbeing for those referred to us via their GPs, by providing them with advice, care and general guidance, as well as nature-based activities and other such activities to help improve wellness.This image is from some happy participants in the programme, following a quiet walk through Ormesby Hall!

The quiet walk was great for health, both physical and mental, and provided a way to connect with the great outdoors with getting involved in much hustle and bustle!

We’ll be sharing a lot more from this project in the coming weeks, so keep your eyes peeled: This two year project, which started at the beginning of 2022, is definitely working wonders for those who need it most!

A successful Albert Park Easter Day!

A massive thank you to everybody who showed up to the Albert Park Easter day: It was a successful outing for us here at MEC! Our Eco-shop was a huge hit, almost running out of produce, our Affordable Warmth team dispensed a lot of advice and free lightbulbs, our Smoothie Bike never stopped spinning and dispensing smoothies, and our stalls for Rooted in Nature and Climate Action Middlesbrough alongside Actes Employability made for a lot of entertainment and got a lot of people thinking, particularly Dwiti’s stall in regards to water waste!

Albert Park was absolutely thrumming with people and energy, and we were glad to see so many people there. It was awe-inspiring and made us so ecstatic to see so many of you around! Keep an eye out on our social media: we’ll be at more events soon and we can’t wait to get out in the community more and host more of these events on your doorstep!

Hemlington Clean Sweep!

We were busy out at the Hemlington Clean Sweep, with many members of the public rolling up their sleeves and getting stuck in to help clean up in and around the Hemlington area, including Hemlington Lake! Please enjoy some photographs of our view of the day of action, where we tackled a stretch of the Blue Bell Beck: The things we found, my goodness, we could start an entire thrift shop! Our favourite find, as you can see in our first picture, was a large plush unicorn: Not so magic anymore, we’re afraid!

Needless to say, it was a fantastic day out, part of Middlesbrough Council’s Big Green Week alongside partners including Linx Youth Project, and we’re happy to see that Hemlington is now looking somewhat cleaner!

Putting in the good work at P.D Ports!

Food often goes to landfill: It’s a sad fact of life, and one that costs the planet just as much as it costs our wallets. Supermarkets, if they have too much food, will often let a lot of good food go to waste: Food that is perfectly edible and can be used to fill bellies instead of bins!

We managed to collect a lot of pallets from P.D Ports, filled with tons of biscuits! Thanks to P.D Ports and our lovely staff (Pictured here are James and Rachael, hard at work!), these surplus biscuits won’t be clogging up landfill and contributing to excess waste: We collected the pallets and now they’re out in our local networks to be distributed to people! Cheers, we’ll raise a cuppa to that!

Get involved in the Grove Hill Big Clean-Up!

People of Grove Hill: Your community needs you! Community action days, litter picking, tree planting and more, there’s a Big Clean-Up going on with a partnership involving Thirteen, Linx, Tees Valley Wildlife Trust, Middlesbrough Council and more! Find out more through the leaflets attached in this post!


BT’s volunteers go wild amongst the wildflowers!

A huge thank you to the volunteers from BT (British Telecommunications) in Middlesbrough completing some of their corporate volunteering hours with the Community Actions Team on March 21st! They worked in partnership with Tees Valley Wildlife Trust and Climate Action Middlesbrough to rake and prepare the land for the wildflower meadow. The teams also helped us clear over 2 tons of green waste from the site as well as numerous bags of litter. A huge thanks to them and our Kickstarts for all their hard work in helping to transform this area!

Green Shoots providing community engagement and support at the Genesis Project!

Green Shoots have been working with the Genesis Project at St Oswalds Church to offer support in creating a wildlife pond.

The team have dug out a load of earth, lined the pond and then proceeded to fill it with water to allow the pond liner to settle before profiling and landscaping the edges. The area has been landscaped using re-purposed broken flags, lifted from where crazy paving once laid to the front of the church, with the addition of some ornamental stone so that the pond looks aesthetically pleasing while serving an important purpose for wildlife.

Wildlife ponds are a fantastic addition to any garden, regardless of the size. The benefits are amazing because where there is water, there is life! The Green Shoots team have been working hard in the recent several weeks to create a 3-metre x 1-metre wildlife pond located in the community garden, positioned to the rear of the hall the pond will provide a habitat for many aquatic species of plants and wildlife. This will greatly increase bio-diversity potential in the garden, with hope of attracting beneficial predatory insects while providing a home and safe place for frogs, toads and other beasties living in and around the water.

The earth removed has been used at the front of the church by the Genesis volunteers and group to create a wildflower patch where the crazy paving was lifted and utilised for use around the pond. All that is needed now is the addition of plants which will be done by the Genesis Project staff and volunteers!

Green Shoots at Middle Marsh Nature Reserve!

January may seem like a slow month for many of us but there has been a hive of activity at Middle Marsh Nature Reserve! Colin Conroy, engagement officer for the Green Shoots Project, has co-ordinated vast changes within the reserve which will benefit the biodiversity of flora and fauna, the attractiveness of the site and also the access for local pedestrians and volunteers.
Teaming up with Ian and Anne-Marie from Tees Valley Wildlife Trust, who planned the whole operation, Colin managed to enlist help and funding from Middlesbrough Borough Council who arrived with a JCB in tow to dig out and create nine new ponds.

According to historical ordnance survey maps the reserve will have been a salt marsh around 150 years ago, holding sea water with the incoming tide. But the industry that was built over the marsh put an end to the site existing as a natural habitat. So to transform the site into a wetland is bringing the reserve back to how it was meant to be naturally. Currently the ponds look a little messy but once there is some heavy rainfall and Spring brings new plant growth the ponds will look more established and at home on the reserve.

Middle Marsh is already home to a vast variety of plants and animals including Kingfishers, Sparrowhawks and Orchids. But the new ponds will give an opportunity for even more wildlife to settle in the Marsh, particularly fresh water insects and invertebrates, birds and mammals. Water Voles, an endangered animal that we know lives further upstream in Ormesby Beck , will also hopefully move into Middle Marsh with the attraction of the new ponds!

This week, our volunteers from Pursglove College visited the reserve to help build hides so that visitors are able to see the visiting birds. As part of the RSPB Birdwatch, the volunteers identified 10 birds within Middle Marsh, including robins, goldfinches and jackdaws and sent this information back to the RSPB to help with national data. Thanks again to the Pursglove students for their ongoing help on Green Shoots!

To find out more about Middle Marsh visit

Green Shoots couldn’t carry out our important work without our volunteers, and we still have a lot of important work that we need to get through! If you enjoy working outdoors and care about your local area please get in touch! We’re a friendly bunch and the work is fun and fulfilling: There’s even an opportunity to complete a free qualification in conservation which our staff can guide you through!

If you would like an informal chat or would like to sign up for a no-obligation taster session then please call Jade on 01642 579820 or email