Kent MFF Volunteer Day

Kent MFF Volunteer Day

Costain’s Kent Multi-functional Framework (MFF) team recently organised a volunteer day to help the Kent Wildlife Trust remove a poisonous weed from around Pegwell Bay, an internationally important area for migratory birds, near Sandwich.

As well as the team from Kent MFF, which is working to deliver maintenance works to buildings and structures for Network Rail in the whole of the Kent area, the group also included nearly 20 personnel from the eight2o, Alliance, London Bridge Redevelopment, Crossrail C412 at Bond Street and ABC Electrification projects. The team covered a distance of approximately 1.5 km between the Princes Golf Course and Pegwell Bay Beach.

Ragwort is a poisonous weed which occurs around pony paddocks, railway embankments and areas of unimproved pasture. Cattle and horses are particularly susceptible to poisoning. Cutting, wilting and the treatment with herbicides make ragwort less unpalatable to livestock and poisoning mainly arises from eating contaminated hay.

“The removal of ragwort from the reserve is particularly important in preserving the biodiversity of the sand-dunes and near-shore area. The plant, which is spread by wind-dispersed seed, is toxic to livestock and can easily take over and outcompete native vegetation,” said Callum Mair, Kent MFF Environmental Manager.

Vicky Aitkenhead from the Kent Wildlife Trust said she was very impressed with the amount of ragwort removed and the large distance which the team covered in the short period of time.

Carly Whyborn, Kent Wildife Trust’s Volunteer Development Officer, added: “We really appreciate the team from Costain helping us with ragwort pulling at our Pegwell Bay Reserve. It’s going to make a huge difference to the wildlife and visitors to this area.”

In between pulling weeds, the team enjoyed cakes, fresh Kent fruit and refreshments, and some home-made muffins and rice crispy buns provided by Neil Gob (Kent MFF Occupational Nurse) and Ellie Walshe (Kent MFF Environmental Advisor).

Employee volunteering is one of Costain’s community focused sustainability priorities for 2016, as outlined in the Company’s Sustainability Strategy. Costain’s ‘Hour Pledge’ campaign asks staff to donate 10,000 hours of their working time to good causes in 2016.

The ‘Hour Pledge’ focuses on supporting local communities using the energy and passion of Costain’s employees, who are entitled to take two paid days of volunteering leave per year to support good causes.

For further information on the day or to register your interest for future Kent MFF volunteering events, please contact Callum Mair at


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