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MERRIST WOOD COLLEGE WILDLIFE STUDENTS HELP PROTECT SURREY’S COUNTRYSIDE

Students studying wildlife and conservation at Merrist Wood College in Worplesdon have been working with rangers at the Surrey Wildlife Trust to help manage local heathland.

The students, ranging from 16 to 60 year olds, assisted with scrub clearing on both Ockham Common near Wisley and Royal and Bagmoor Commons near Elstead. Other work included management of heather and creating bare ground for wet heathland plants.

The students have been studying wildlife management as part of their course and the conservation work helps to provide important habitat for endangered wildlife such as sand lizards, nightjars and woodlarks.

Ranger Fiona Haynes commented “It was a really important contribution to the management of the area”. Wildlife and Conservation Tutor Ron Hills added “This has provided the students with a very valuable experience. Partnerships with conservation organisations are very important in helping students develop skills and gain employment on completion of their course”.

Merrist Wood College offers a wide range of full and part-time Wildlife, Conservation and related courses. For further information please contact the College on 01483 884040 or visit www.merristwood.ac.uk


What a difference a day makes: Wates helps SWT improve its teaching facilities


An army of sixty employees from Wates, the Surrey-based construction company, helped Surrey Wildlife Trust (SWT) improve its Educational Nature Reserves at Nower Wood (near Leatherhead) and Bay Pond (near Godstone) last month (Friday 24 June). The teams set to work re-siting a bird hide from Nower Wood to Bay Pond and stormed through a long list of invaluable works to the reserves for which they kindly provided some of the material. The improved facilities will enhance the experience of the 1,800 students who come to Bay Pond each year to learn about wildlife.

Roger Granby, SWT Reserve Manager, said: “A visit from Wates is a big day for Surrey Wildlife Trust’s Educational Department, all those little – and not so little – jobs that we would do, if we only had the time, have been done, providing an even better experience for our school groups.”Wates is a very supportive honorary corporate partner of SWT, having helped with conservation work and maintenance of offices at Norbury Park as well as creating a new pond at Nower Wood.

To find out how your business can help Surrey Wildlife Trust contact Colin Greenwood on 01483 795441 or email colin.greenwood@surreywt.org.uk.
Photo caption: SWT chairman Ron Pritchard presents Tim Wates, family director, and his team with their honorary partner certificate.


Powerful new partnership will help protect wildlife

UK Power Networks is going into partnership with the nine Wildlife Trusts in its distribution areas, including Surrey Wildlife Trust to help preserve and develop wildlife habitats.

The company manages Britain’s biggest power networks using 170,000 kilometres of underground cables and overhead lines and more than 130,000 substations to deliver electricity to eight million homes and businesses across the East of England, South East and London.

Colin Greenwood (Surrey Wildlife Trust Business Relations Executive) presents a Gold Corporate Partnership Certificate to Jennifer Backstrom (UK Power Networks Environmental Advisor based in Guilford) as Heather Patrick (UK Power Networks Sustainability Officer) looks on

As part of the new arrangement, UK Power Networks is supporting each Trust financially and intends to arrange 27 employee team day events each year, three for each wildlife trust. Teams of employee volunteers will help the trusts with activities such as coppicing and digging drainage trenches.

UK Power Networks sustainability manager Clive Steed said: “We employ about 5,500 staff who are always keen to help local causes and strengthen links within the communities we serve, and we also want to offer these employees volunteering and learning opportunities.

“In the past our employees have been pleased to help local wildlife trusts with individual projects and this new partnership will raise our commitment to the next level. The partnership is just one of many ways in which UK Power Networks is planning to help look after the environment.”

Colin Greenwood, Surrey Wildlife Trust business relations executive, added: “By becoming a Gold Corporate Partner we are delighted that UK Power Networks is supporting the work of Surrey Wildlife Trust - safeguarding endangered wildlife and conserving and regenerating a diverse array of habitats - whilst giving their staff and local people the opportunity to learn about and enjoy their natural environment in Surrey”.
 
This is part of a wider initiative from UK Power Networks, which takes its environmental responsibilities very seriously. All employees must consider the impact of their activities on the environment and sustainability, adhering to all wildlife legislation.

Specifically UK Power Networks asks employees:

  • Not to attempt works that are likely to damage a nest or cause birds to desert a nest.
    -
  • To seek advice from an environmental representative if they suspect their work location is near a badger sett.
    -
  • To obtain guidance from an ecologist if planning work within 500 metres of a pond.
    -
  • Check for any protected species of plants before commencing work.
    Look out for bat roosts and dormice nests to minimise disturbance when trimming trees to keep them clear of overhead power lines.

UK Power Networks is also one of the forerunners in the industry when it comes to recycling road waste, having managed to cut the amount sent to landfill sites by its maintenance contractors from 80% to 3% over the last four years. The final 3% consists mainly of contaminated materials which cannot currently be recycled.

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Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly, Chobham © Robin Castle

Meadow Brown Butterfly, Chobham © Robin Castle

 Bee, Woking Garden © Robin Castle


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See The Small World Bigger

Small World Photos © Robin Castle

All thease photos were taken in the Woking area on Horsell Common, Chobham Common, Lightwater Country Park, Chobham Fields and one in a Woking Garden.


A Jackdaw taking bread from a birdable, Chobham Garden shot with a Casio Exilim Camera from the kitchen window.


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Young Frog Chobham © Robin Castle

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© Sam Johnston

Thanks to Sam Johnston for a Knaphill Frog from his garden pond.