Participating is more important than winning, the saying goes. But to be honest: once we were nominated, we also wanted to win. So there we sat, somewhat nervous in front of (or behind) our screen, because the EU’s Rural Inspiration Awards were presented digitally this year. Our project that was nominated was ‘Dredging, clippings and heath scrapings as a regional soil improver based on Brickz’ that we carry out in Overijssel. The entire prize-giving ceremony can be followed via the link below, but from minute 18 it’s our project’s turn and you can see the denouement and discharge.
Specifically, the project means that we use residual flows from nature reserves to make Brickz, which we then use again when planting trees. Part of the residual flows is also directly used to grow trees that are also planted again. That is 100% circular and the great thing is that the residual flows can be delivered free of charge, which means that nature conservation organizations save money. On this link from ‘Vroege Vogels’ you can listen to an item in which the project is clearly described.
Our thanks go to our project partners: Landschap Overijssel, the province of Overijssel, Kwekerij Decohof Overgoor, Kwekerij Rendering, Kwekerij Hendriksen, Bosbalans, NIOO-KNAW and the Drents Overijsselse Delta water board. After all, they make the project a success. The nice thing is that we have built an alliance that now really functions as a chain: exactly what is needed to enable the transition to a circular economy and sustainable soil management. Natuurmonumenten has also recently been joined, giving the project an extra strong boost.
Important partners who have contributed more in the area of promotion, communication, ICT and book publishing are: BLKVLD Publishers and NinePixels. Concerning the tight financial and administrative handling, we should definitely mention the companies Deshimax and FIControl.
The project will be concluded with a symposium where we will present the results. We are now also working on a similar project in Brabant with Staatsbosbeheer as a partner. And here too success is being achieved and the contours of a second phytorefinery are beginning to take shape. For those who want to know more about the concept of the phytorefinery as we develop it in Huissen, there is this link to an item from Vroege Vogels.
We have previously won prizes, including from the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment for the concept of the Landscape Auction. But this Rural Inspiration Award is the best proof for us that idealism, creativity, integrity and persistence are always rewarded. Especially when it is accompanied by a good business approach and the deployment of and cooperation with the right people.