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Dow Corning’s nature and education centre in Barry wins reputation award


Dow Corning’s nature and education center in Barry in the UK has been rewarded by the Chemical Industries Association (CIA) for its impact on the company’s reputation with the local community.

The Barry site won the Reputation Award category at this year’s UK Chemical Industry Awards for the 30-acre development alongside the plant and its relationship with local schools. More than 1,700 children have taken part in hands-on learning activities at the center since it opened in 2007.

Judges were looking for a company that proactively manages its reputation – an organization that has creative ideas and leadership that set an example to others in the industry, together with specific initiatives that promote the company’s and industry’s contribution to sustainable development.

David Ott, site manager for Dow Corning in Barry, said that the center was a great example of how wildlife and industry can co-exist, allowing local communities to learn about science, sustainability and bio-diversity in a fun, hands-on fashion. “This award demonstrates that what we have developed is truly special. The activities we host at the center are there for everyone to enjoy – employees, their families, the local community and local school children – and this all-inclusive nature of what we do struck a chord with the judges. The award not only recognizes our work to enhance our reputation locally but also with the chemical industry at large.”

One of the schools to benefit from the education center is Romilly Primary School, which recently took its year four pupils for a day of pond dipping, bug hunting and discovery trailing.

Teacher Mrs Roderick said that it really helped bring the curriculum to life for the pupils. “The children thoroughly enjoyed their time at the education center. They learn all about nature in the classroom but this visit gave them the chance to experience it firsthand. The Cadoxton Ponds center is a fantastic learning environment for children and we’re looking forward to planning our next visit!”

The session was run by Julie Furber, Dow Corning’s Education Officer. Julie, who is employed by the Wildlife Trust, works at the centre two and a half days a week. “The nature area, ponds and education center are a great learning resource and provide an inspiring education experience away from the classroom. We’ve welcomed more than 1700 students through our doors and the energy and enthusiasm of all of them never ceases to amaze me,” she said.

The nature and education center was created from an area of natural wetlands, providing a large wildlife area for the local community and fishing amenity for the Glamorgan Anglers. The sustainable education center building overlooks the fishing ponds and incorporates solar panels for power, ground-source heating and rainwater harvesting. It is available for schools and local groups for environmental studies, field trips and science projects.

About Dow Corning

Dow Corning provides performance-enhancing solutions to serve the diverse needs of more than 25,000 customers worldwide. A global leader in silicones, silicon-based technology and innovation, Dow Corning offers more than 7,000 products and services via the company’s Dow Corning® and XIAMETER® brands. Dow Corning is a joint venture equally owned by The Dow Chemical Company and Corning, Incorporated. More than half of Dow Corning’s annual sales are outside the United States.


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