Eco-education group marks 21st by going underground

The Somerset-based eco charity which has transformed 100 acres of capped landfill into a species-rich nature reserve, Carymoor Environmental Trust, has celebrated its 21st anniversary with an event attended by guests including Glastonbury Festival organiser and committed environmentalist Michael Eavis.

Mr Eavis joined the Carymoor team’s anniversary event and wanted to promote the important work Carymoor does providing environmental education to schools.

The occasion also saw the charity celebrate a new five-year sponsorship deal with Viridor, the recycling and renewable energy company which owns the Dimmer landfill site.

More than 100 schools from across Somerset visit the site each year to see the landfill site and learn of ways to reduce waste, as well as exploring some of the created habitats.

Friends and supporters of Carymoor came together to mark the occasion and to open the new “Going Underground” exhibit which shows what lurks beneath the surface of the landfill.

Mr Eavis was joined by children from Castle Cary Primary for the grand opening.

Honorary President and founder Hamish Craig said: “It is wonderful to see how Carymoor has evolved since a small team of us started things 21 years ago. We wanted to use the landfill site to encourage our visitors to think about how important it is that we look after our environment.

“As the nature reserve has developed wildlife has come back to the site and we are now able to offer a wide range of education to schools on local wildlife, waste and recycling and history.”

Carymoor Chief Executive Rupert Farthing said: “We are so grateful to Viridor who have supported the charity since 2008 and this new sponsorship deal will now take us to 2022 and through our next stage of development.

“It is a challenging climate for small charities and their support has made all the difference to us. We are a small team and if it wasn’t for this support and the vital contribution of our volunteers we wouldn’t be able to offer all the amazing things we do.

“It is more important than ever to offer children learning experiences outside the classroom and to give them that first-hand connection with nature.”

The site has more than 5,000 visitors a year who come to see the current and capped landfill sites, wildlife and range of sustainably constructed buildings at Carymoor. In 2016 Carymoor and Viridor won the Wildlife Trust’s Biodiversity Benchmark, an award to recognise the wildlife value of the site.

Find out more about Carymoor Environmental Trust here, including how to visit the site or have a CET-led activities at your school. And see our album from the day on our Facebook page.