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Power workers’ effort for water voles

An energetic team of power workers refused to let grey and rainy weather spoil a day of volunteering with Kent Wildlife Trust.

From Press releases - 14 October 2014 12:00 AM

Power workers' effort for water voles.jpg

An energetic team of power workers refused to let grey and rainy weather spoil a day of volunteering with Kent Wildlife Trust.

A dozen colleagues from UK Power Networks ignored the downpour and put their backs into willow coppicing at the trust’s nature reserve in Bradbourne Vale Road, Sevenoaks, to help create an ideal habitat for water voles.

Their efforts on Monday, October 13, will increase light levels and encourage the growth of reeds, sedges and rushes at the reserve so it is suitable for water voles which the trust plans to introduce there next year.

It was a real mixed team effort as the volunteers came from the power company’s HQ in Elephant and Castle and its offices in Chatham, Maidstone and Canterbury.

Organiser Clive Steed, who is the company’s head of environment and sustainability and based at Maidstone, said: “It was very wet but everyone was dressed in their work PPE – personal protective equipment – and we just got cracking.

“We have a longstanding relationship with Kent Wildlife trust and this was an ideal opportunity to give something back to our community.”

Paul Glanfield, the trust’s west Kent area warden, said: “This is one of our busiest times on the reserve and we’re covering a large area – the reserve is 153 acres – so we’re very grateful for this help, especially in such wet weather.

“We rely on volunteers. The willows have grown so high they are stopping the reeds and rushes which the water voles need so we are working on habitat enhancement. Everyone was soaked but they just got on with it.”

UK Power Networks gives staff two paid days a year to get involved in voluntary work across London, the South East and East of England, the three regions where it owns, maintains and operates the electricity network for 8.1 million homes and businesses.

Employees have already spent more than 2,200 hours this year volunteering with local charities, community and conservation groups.