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Boost for wildlife from power company

Wildlife can now continue to thrive at a Bedfordshire beauty spot thanks to hard-working volunteers from UK Power Networks.

From Press releases - 16 October 2014 12:00 AM

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Wildlife can now continue to thrive at a Bedfordshire beauty spot thanks to hard-working volunteers from UK Power Networks.

Eight staff from the electricity company got stuck into shrub clearing at Totternhoe nature reserve near Dunstable.
Clearing the shrubs means that the grass and other plants can then grow, which in turn encourages local wildlife.

UK Power Networks owns and maintains the overhead lines, underground cables and substations which deliver electricity to the doors of more than eight million properties across East Anglia, London and the South East.

It encourages its staff to volunteer in the community and provides two paid days each year to each employee to enable this. The company also has a partnership with the nine wildlife trusts in its area, providing financial support as well as a commitment to three staff volunteer days each year.

Charulata Patel, a sustainability adviser who is based in the company’s offices in Stevenage took part in the day at Totternhoe.
She said: “It was a beautiful day out there and it is great to get out. My job is office based so it’s good to get out into the fresh air.
“It is also a good way to really get to know the people share an office with and who may not be in your department.
“Everyone just got on with the work and said they really enjoyed the day and would do it again.”

Totternhoe reserve is famed for its flower-rich chalk grasslands including a range of orchids and is also home to the small blue butterfly. The area is also known for its strong, durable chalk which was used to build Westminster Abbey among many other buildings.

It is run by Bedfordshire, Cambridge and Northamptonshire Wildlife Trust.

Richard Knock, Wildlife Trust BCN Reserves Officer said: “We have complicated scrub clearance management at Totternhoe, some of which is vital to the Duke of Burgundy, a key species of butterfly which is in decline nationally; cowslips are a food source and these can get swamped in some areas of the reserve, so we’re very grateful to the time that UK Power Networks spent with us helping with our ongoing work programme.”