Airport offers allotments to staff

Imagine being offered allotments from your workplace? That’s exactly what happened to Manchester Airport Staff, who have been offered their own green space as part of the airport’s efforts to reduce stress and increase green space.

Two birds and one stone… you might think!

Green fingered staff at Manchester Airport have pounced on an opportunity to grow their own flowers and vegetables. The airport, which is located in the town of Ringway, Greater Manchester, has given allotments to more than 100 employees, if they promise to avoid growing plants that attract birds.

Birds might seem harmless enough when they are strutting around your back garden, but Britain’s feathered beasts pose a huge danger to aeroplanes – sucked into a jet engine, they can cause serious structural damage. Manchester Airport, as well as regional site, East Midlands, employ ‘bird-scarers’ to protect aircraft from avian pests.

Manchester Airport’s new allotments are located within a few hundred yards of the main runway. The airport has forbidden its urban farmers from cultivating any kind of tree, berries, or fruit to prevent ‘bird-strikes’.

Airport PA, Marija McGuiness, is growing lettuce on her allotment – ‘It’s getting quite competitive. I’m in a team and it’s quite funny really as we’ve started to want our plot to be the best.’ Manchester bosses have employed a wildlife officer to monitor the plots, but staff members are responsible for keeping their own land in order.

Earlier in the year, East Midlands Airport planted hundreds of willow trees, in a bid to become the first UK airport to embrace biomass energy. And now, it appears, Manchester Airport staff are following suit. The trees, whilst not providing much in the way of food for animals, are ideal nesting locations, and the airport has been forced to step up its efforts to keep aeroplanes safe from flocking birds.

See more about Airports’ efforts to be green with ‘Tree Power’ for East Midlands

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