Bexley Environmental Challenge

“The Wizards in Wood”


Welling Air Cadets were celebrating this week [Monday 2nd October] for their success in the London Borough of Bexley's Environmental Challenge 2012. Founded in 1993, and this year sponsored by Cory Riverside, the challenge encourages schools, community projects, business and individuals to increase recycling, encourage wildlife & plants and build a greener and more sustainable environment.


The Air Cadets Aiden HEWETT [15], Andrew KELLY [15], Joe GREENSTREET [15], cadet corporal Joe RIDLER [15], and sergeants Thomas RIDLER [17] & Lewis SOUTHGATE [17] were assisted and supported by Civilian Instructor Brian MARSH & Honorary Squadron President Peter WESTON, to undertake and complete the challenge. Most of the wood use in the project was salvaged from skips in the Welling area. Old pallets, packing wood and off cuts was recycled to produce functional garden furniture. They filmed the project and the short film can be seen on the Internet [You-Tube]. The items made included a wishing well, a garden bench and a bird feeder


Mr Weston said “The cadets have become 'Wizards of Wood' learning new skills and attributes like using a hammer, a screwdriver and a paint brush. This project has shown the cadets the value of recycling, that things can be utilised and used again, it need not end up in skip and in the tip”.


The competition was fiercely contested between primary and secondary schools, allotment holders, local environmental groups and individuals. The cadets themselves were delighted to have earned a 'Gold Certificate' for their efforts, and were amazed to come third in the overall competition, plus prize money totalling £450. In addition to this Cory Riverside have invited a delegation of cadets to a 'VIP' tour of the Cory Riverside recycling facility to see how the professionals go about recycling the waste of the Borough.


Flight lieutenant  (Flt Lt) Kris COTTIER, in charge of Welling Air Cadets described their achievement thus “This challenge proves that the youth of the Borough have an active and positive role to play in the future of the Borough. All the young people who undertook the challenge should be commended for their diligence and commitment to the environment”.


Welling Air Cadets is a non-selective uniformed youth group for girls and boys aged over 13. Further details can be obtained at


T Ridler, with 3rd place certificate; The 3rd place Trophy- a globe in a hand; L Southgate, with £400 cheque (3rd prize); J Ridler with commemorative “Jeannie” award – a globe in a hand; A Hewett with £50 cheque (Gold achievement); J Greenstreet with Gold achievement certificate; Mr Peter Weston.