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Boost for wildlife at Godstone nature reserve

A group of electricity workers spent today at a nature reserve in Godstone with Surrey Wildlife Trust restoring a habitat for native plants and species.

From Press releases - 15 November 2018 12:00 AM

Boost for wildlife at Godstone nature reserve.jpg

Sixteen staff from UK Power Networks teamed up with the trust at Blindley Heath Nature Reserve to cut back thick vegetation, to flood the woodland floor with sunlight and encourage native plants and species to sprout new shoots.

Working with bowsaws and loppers, the team removed small trees and brambles to create an open area in the woodland. For some of the group it was their third volunteer day at the reserve and a chance to catch up with the results of their previous work.

The event was organised through UK Power Networks’ volunteering scheme, Donate a Day, which gives the company’s 6,000 staff two days paid leave each year to volunteer in their local communities.

Paul Judd, a planning engineer at UK Power Networks, said: “It was a real thrill to go back and see what our earlier efforts have provided in the way of new habitat and hopefully some newly returned species. A few years ago we discovered a rare spider in the woodland during our visit.

“The reserve is very overgrown and this is being reversed with the introduction of a small herd of cows to graze the land, although you would never know they were there due to the undergrowth. Blindley Heath Nature Reserve is the largest fenced common in Surrey, which makes it quite a special place, as there is less footfall across it.

“It is nice coming together as a team and doing something totally different. Although we go out on site visits we don’t normally get our hands dirty and this is a chance to give something back to our local community.”

UK Power Networks is a supporter of the nine wildlife trusts in the areas where it delivers electricity across the South East, London and East of England.

Ross Packman, practical task leader at Surrey Wildlife Trust, said: “The team worked incredibly hard today clearing silver birch and bramble to protect the grassland habitat upon which so many species such as butterflies and orchids depend. Blindley Heath is also well known for nightingales, so we ensured that we left plenty of blackthorn, which is valuable nesting habitat for them. We really value the long term relationship we have built up with UK Power Networks and appreciate all the support they give helping us to create vital wildlife corridors across Surrey.”

Blindley Heath Nature Reserve is home to a variety of plants and wildlife including great crested newts, common lizards, hedgehogs and woodpeckers.