Maidstone's Eco Hub

In August 2023, our Climate Change and Biodiversity team once again took over a vacant unit in The Mall, Maidstone, for six weeks, providing people with  information to help them lead a more sustainable life. The Eco Hub built on the successes of the Go Green Information Centre, and included some exciting new features such as a children's crafts table and sustainable prize wheel. The project was once again supported by a fantastic team of volunteers who helped visitors navigate the Eco Hub, providing them with information and resources along the way.

We partnered with 24 local sustainable businesses, charities, and community groups who shared information, resources, leaflets, and demonstration models of their products and services in the Eco Hub for free. Organisations included South East Water, the Green Doctors and Bearsted Climate Action Network. Our partners were also involved in a series of pop-up events, talks and craft workshops, engaging visitors on a variety of topics within sustainability. Events ranged from LUSH bath bomb workshops and wildlife craft workshops to a sustainable business event and advice on solar panels.

There was a 121% increase in users of the Eco Hub in 2023 when compared to the 2022 Go Green Information Centre. This is a significant increase and demonstrates the changes implemented to the 2023 Eco Hub improved the project.

Maidstone’s Eco Hub was also shortlisted in The Revo’s, for the best local authority/ private sector partnership Revo award. Each year Revo hold industry awards, The Revo’s, aimed to recognise and celebrate those who are adapting and leading the way forward in the sector. The best local authority/ private sector partnership award recognises a Local Authority initiative that has had a major impact on the town centre experience for its residents and users. Maidstone’s Eco Hub was one of just three projects shortlisted for this national award.

We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who was involved with the Eco Hub and for helping us to make it such a success. We are planning to open the Eco Hub again this year in Maidstone. If you are a local sustainable business, charity or community organisation and would like to showcase your products or services, or if you are an individual who would like to volunteer, please contact us here.

Go Green Information Centre

In September 2022, our Climate Change and Biodiversity team took over a vacant unit in The Mall, Maidstone, for a month, providing people with information to help them lead a more sustainable life. The fantastic team of volunteers at the centre helped visitors with advice to make greener, sustainable lifestyle choices. There were displays and information covering everything from green energy grants to local community gardening projects. 20 local sustainable organisations including JPS Energy, Communigrow and Zero Waste on Wheels showcased their goods and services for free, with others giving talks or delivering workshops to help give people more confidence in making greener choices. Great Big Green Week was an incredibly successful week in the Go Green Information Centre, in which we held nine fantastic events.

Vegetarian Food Festival 2022

In 2022 Maidstone’s first ‘Vegetarian Food Festival’ was held in Lockmeadow Love Food and at the Royal Star Arcade as part of Vegetarian Week. 11 restaurants took part and were given £250 each to cater vegetarian alternatives for free tasters for the public to promote local businesses and a reduced meat diet. The festival was led by the Vegetarian Society who set up a stall, supported alternative meat-free products and advised the public on healthier, less costly meat-free alternatives to reduce individual carbon footprints and improve health. The two-day event was very well received, and we hope to run it again, working with the Vegetarian Society, and more restaurants, in the future.

Maidstone Borough in Bloom

Each year, we partner with Coolings Garden Centre to showcase the green-fingered skills of residents, businesses and communities in Maidstone.

IBorough n Bloom is a fun, free-to-enter competition, encouraging everyone from amateur gardeners to seasoned horticulture professionals to showcase their gardening achievements. With categories ranging from individual pots to entire gardens, category winners are awarded Coolings Vouchers, and all entrants receive a voucher to help them get started. Categories include best front garden, best back garden, best allotment, best planted pot, best pollinator/environmentally friendly garden, best commercial garden, best community project and new for 2023, best school garden.

This wonderful competition helps encourage residents, businesses, community groups and schools to bring colour and vibrancy to their gardens and pots. Each year we have lots of striking entries, which all help to brighten up the borough of Maidstone and increase biodiversity.

Find out more information and enter the competition here.

World Bee Day 2022

In 2022, inspired by Go Green Go Wild, local groups raised interest in supporting activities for World Bee Day on 20 May. Our Parks and Open Spaces team partnered with Medway Valley Countryside Partnership, supporting volunteers to find five locations around our estate spaces and parks to establish bee hotels and log piles to encourage insects species and bee corridors. The project was a big success and helped encourage more bees to visit the chosen locations.