Who’d have thought nearly 30 years later that 2 old school friends would find themselves brought together by a common cause?
Well that’s exactly where Chris Duckworth (MD of SIP / Frame Build UK) and Wave Crookes (Ops Director & Co Founder of SeaGrown) have found themselves.
Nearly 30 years ago whilst sat at the back of an old biology lab at Scarborough College one was dreaming of sailing the oceans the other just looking to escape to any further education establishment that would have him! Fast forward nearly 30 years and the 2 old school friends have met up at the School where their paths first crossed and now they have a common goal in mind.
Since 2018 SeaGrown has been pioneering an exciting new idea – growing sustainable, carbon-rich seaweed in the cold waters off the beautiful Yorkshire Coast.
Growing seaweed in this offshore setting gives the opportunity to help the oceans recover, and helps to mitigate the climate crisis.
SeaGrown’s ambition is to help the ocean to turn the tide on climate change and keep itself healthy. They have developed a brand new method for seaweed farming which can stand up to the challenging open-water environment of the wild North Sea and will allow the company to produce ten times more seaweed than originally planned. As it grows, the seaweed absorbs tons of carbon, releases oxygen into the surrounding water, uses up other excess nutrients and creates new habitats allowing marine life such as fish, mammals and birds to flourish.
The rapidly growing company has recently enjoyed a number of media appearances – their seaweed food products were featured on the Hairy Bikers Go North and the BBC has also been afloat at the seaweed farm on SeaGrown’s workboat to film a piece for the One Show which will air during the runup to the COP26 summit.
SIP / Frame Build UK have been designing manufacturing and installing carbon embodied timber buildings for nearly 10 years. The intrinsic carbon capture of timber buildings is one of many ways that the climate can benefit and hopefully help reverse climate change. Between 15% and 28% of new homes built in the UK annually use timber frame construction, capturing over one million tonnes of CO2 a year as a result.
Whilst the 2 friends had had sporadic contact and kept up with each other’s lives via social media the opportunity for the two businesses to work together for a common cause was too great a draw.
Having seen the Crowdfund by Seagrown Chris couldn’t help but pick up the phone to Wave and see how he could get involved. Obviously helping with the funding was a no brainer and the opportunity to meet up was very appealing.
So, in late summer 2021 the two friends met up at the old hunting ground of Scarborough College. Headmaster Guy Emmett was very warm and welcoming and an interesting and memory-provoking guided tour was conducted by OSA and marketing manager Zoe Harrison. The friends could not believe the changes that 30 years had brought but still had time to reminisce about times, places and people gone by.
Who’d have thought that after three decades and two vastly different careers, life has led these old friends towards a common goal of reversing climate change.