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Animals will benefit from power-packed volunteer day

Volunteers have been taking time out of the office to spruce up Knettishall Heath and provide a life-saving service to animals in the area.

From Press releases - 18 July 2014 12:00 AM

Knettishall volunteer day.jpg

Volunteers have been taking time out of the office to spruce up Knettishall Heath and provide a life-saving service to animals in the area.

A team of 12 staff from a number of departments at UK Power Networks spent a day with the Suffolk Wildlife Trust clearing ragwort from the heathland and picking up litter.

Ragwort can be poisonous to animals and there are currently several horses grazing on the heath.

The volunteers are based at the company’s Bury St Edmunds office in Barton Road and also its Crawley office in Hazelwick Avenue.

UK Power Networks owns and maintains the overhead lines, underground power cables and substations which distribute electricity to eight million customers in East Anglia, London and the South East.

Each year it gives its 5,200 employees two paid days to carry out volunteer work for charities and community organisations.

Diane Gladders, an insurance claims administrator, who is based at Barton Road in Bury St Edmunds said: “We all had a really great day. We were mainly digging up ragwort as it can be poisonous to animals and we also did litter picking along the road side.

“It was nice to get out of the office and get some fresh air and exercise and also some peace and quiet.

“We’ve volunteered at Redgrave Fen before but this was our first time at Knettishall and it was a really pleasant day.”

UK Power Networks has a partnership with nine wildlife trusts across the area it covers, giving financial support as well as providing at least three volunteer days at each trust every year.

Michael Strand, development manager for the Suffolk Wildlife Trust, said: “We welcome the continued support of UK Power Networks to the trusts across the region.

“Volunteer support is absolutely vital to us – we couldn’t manage our nature reserves without them – and there’s no better way to get to know a site than to come out with the reserve staff and muck in.”

The trust was able to buy Knettishall Heath because of the biggest grant it has received of £725,500 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.