News & Events

Celebrating Earth Day 2024

On Monday, the 22nd of April, the National Centre for Earth Observation (NCEO) and Space Park Leicester proudly commemorated their inaugural Earth Day celebration. Our event served as inspiration for raising awareness about environmental conservation and engaging participants from the local community in a series of eco-friendly activities.


Year one students from Wolsey House Primary School and community members alike were invited to partake in a diverse array of activities, ranging from bulb planting of native wildflowers to crafting insects using recycled materials collected by our team at NCEO. Getting the children involved in these hands-on activities was a great way to show them the importance of caring for their local environment and practical way in how they can help protect nature.

Bird walk

Guiding participants on an enlightening bird walk through Ellis Meadows with Professor Mark Sims, Professor of Astronomy and Space Instrumentation, University of Leicester. Our guides provided a bird bingo activity for our school and community groups which was really fun and engaging.

Reflecting on the event’s significance, Professor Sims emphasised Space Park Leicester’s unwavering commitment to championing environmental sustainability.

He remarked, “Our Earth Day gathering was a resounding success, bringing together schools and the wider community to explore the pivotal role of science and technology in safeguarding our planet’s future.”

Our wildlife guide is available for download here.

Camera trap footage from Leicester

The biodiversity in the local area was captured through photos and footage from NCEO wildlife cameras at Space Park Leicester. With support from the Natural Environment Research Council, Eleanor Morton, NCEO Sustainability Manager, has installed a number of biodiversity cameras in the wooded areas around Space Park Leicester. From bustling birdlife to elusive mammals, the footage revealed the rich tapestry of nature thriving amidst the urban landscape.

We will continue to monitor the wildlife cameras and share any photos of our local residents that we capture in the future.

For Harmony and Wonder

A standout moment of the festivities was the unveiling of the breathtaking sustainable sculpture titled “For Harmony and Wonder,” crafted by renowned artist Michelle Reader. Utilising primarily space-related waste materials, including components from India’s inaugural dedicated Space Astronomy Observatory and the BepiColumbo mission to Mercury, the sculpture intricately intertwines the circular seals of the Terra Carta and Astra Carta charters.

The unveiling of “For Harmony and Wonder” symbolised a poignant culmination of community collaboration, echoing the sentiments shared during our COP28 event last year. As Michelle unveiled the sculpture on Earth Day, it served as a powerful reminder of the collective action and creative ingenuity required to forge a sustainable future.

Plastic pollution in Leicester

Dr. Sarah Gabbot, University of Leicester delivered a fascinating talk on plastic pollution in Leicester. Her insights into the challenges we face, and the urgency of the issue were eye-opening. It was a powerful reminder that small changes can make a big difference. Dr. Gabbot’s message resonated deeply, urging us to band together and champion sustainable practices for a cleaner, greener city – it especially inspired our litter picking team to take direct action!


Earth Day serves as a reminder that our commitment to the environment extends far beyond a single day – it’s a pledge we honour every day in our research here at NCEO.