Biodiversity Action Plan

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Biodiversity Action Plan

Why is biodiversity important?

How will we deliver this? 

Our actions

Case studies


 

Why is biodiversity important?

A healthy environment is critical to our business and with 85 per cent of water we supply coming from sources beneath the North Downs and the remainder from the River Eden, we rely heavily on the environment to be healthy and abundant.

We impact the environment every day with the emissions we create and energy we use through the water treatment process. To protect and enhance the environment both now and in the future, our Biodiversity Action Plan within our business strategy sets out to:

  • Minimise the impact that we and our customers have on it
  • Actively improve areas of benefit to our customers

How will we deliver this?

For the successful delivery of our Biodiversity Action Plan (the Plan) the following key areas have been identified across the business for us to focus on:

  • Company land management
    • Continue keeping our Company land rich in biodiversity while meeting all legal requirements for supplying drinking water
  • Minimising the impact of Company activity on the environment
    • Prevent potential loss of biodiversity and mitigate risks to the environment as a result of Company operations and reinstate the environment where loss has occurred due to our operations
  • Partnership working
    • Extend our work with these groups to both enhance but also protect existing biodiversity
  • Engagement, education and awareness raising
    • Raise awareness and report our activities to reach the largest number of people possible while making sure the information and work we have delivered is used to inform catchment decisions

Our actions:

  • We’ve begun phase one of the Plan and are carrying out habitat surveys on our land
  • Following hedgerow training for our outside maintenance staff, we are working to enhance hedgerows on our land to ensure they are in favourable condition
  • We’ve begun surveying for (and controlling) invasive non-native species on our sites to avoid any spread and treating those identified appropriately
  • We've initiated the process of achieving the wildlife trusts ‘Biodiversity Benchmark’ to achieve continual biodiversity enhancement and protection on three of our sites by 2025. Work carried out so far includes habitat surveys from dormouse reptiles and also includes changes to how we manage the land by reducing mowing to allow wildflower to flourish, installing of bird boxes, creating bug hotels and deadwood piles to provide a food source and habitat for a range of species from stag beetles to bees and birds
  • We have identified conservation and environmental volunteer days which we promote to our employees to take part in. If you are a charity in our region who carry out conservationor environmental projects and need some willing volunteers, please contact us

Case studies

We installed eel screens at our Goat bridge site in Hackbridge to support the recovery of the endangered eel population in 2017 by preventing eels from passing through a small mesh and allowing them to continue their movements up and down the river. 

 

 

Barn Owl boxes have been installed on land we lease to Kent Wildlife Trust near Bough Beech, Edenbridge. This increases the available areas for barn owls to nest and to help reverse the loss of nesting sites. The Barn Owl Trust is also building a barn owl tower to further increase these nestings. 

 

Photo credit: Lynn and Peter Flower

Chalk grasslands are home to incredibly rich and diverse plants and insects and are often rare and fragmented. We adapted our maintenance regimes to enhance biodiversity within our sites by creating wildflower areas to enhance our chalk grasslands.

 

 

In February 2019 we worked with Surrey Wildlife Trust to clear the banks of the Gibbs Brook in Godstone, allowing more light into the channel helping the river return to its natural state. This included clearing scrubs which were used to create a dead hedge and deadwood piles to provide important habitat for a range of species.

We will be keeping a close eye on the river over the summer to see how instream vegetation recolonises the site along with Surrey Wildlife Trust.

 

More light now reaches the channel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deadwood piles made from cleared material

 


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