Environment and nature conservation 2019
Jilly Mounsey, unit manager at Sandside Quarry
Improving the local environment and nature conservation is one of the ways our volunteering helps provide a net positive contribution to our local communities. Here are just a few examples of how Tarmac employees have been helping improve the local environment and nature conservation in their local communities in 2019.
Saving endangered birds in the Cotswold Water Park
Our Landfill Communities Fund has supported a new project that hopes to save endangered birds at Whelford Pools, a Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust nature reserve in the Cotswold Water Park.
Thanks to donations from Tarmac and other sources, the trust has been able to start work on a £25,000 project to improve the nature reserve. As part of the project a brand-new accessible bird hide has been installed with a special low viewing area for visitors with limited mobility and pushchairs.
The hope is that the new facility will help to engage the local community with the wildlife on their doorstep by giving everybody the opportunity to view the stunning array of birds that visit Whelford Pools.
The ‘Better for Birds’ projects team of employees and volunteers has also been working hard to improve the woodland, reedbed and grassland areas at the reserve.
The hope is that not only will this project give declining birds a helping hand, but that it will also encourage more visitors to experience the wonders of this beautiful wild place, and the wildlife that calls it home
Building Products Human Resources team gets back to nature
As a part of national volunteering week, the Building Products HR team spent the day helping out at Pendeford Mill Nature Reserve.
The nature reserve, near Wolverhampton, dates back to the thirteenth century and provides a stable and protected habitat for wildlife, covering an area of 24 hectares.
The day began with an introduction to where the rangers had set traps the night before to show the team which animals they had caught and information on the animals.
During the day, they were tasked with clearing Himalayan Balsam, an invasive non-native plant species that grows rapidly and spreads quickly, smothering other vegetation as it goes, as well as cutting back brambles from the footpaths to clear the walkways. The group were also given a tour of the reserve and talked to them about the Mill House, site history and local wildlife.
Harriet Slatter, senior HR manager, added: “Volunteering was a fantastic team-building activity. Paul and the team were very passionate and knowledgeable about the work they do, and we all learnt something new about our local area.”
Tarmac donation improves Cumbrian nature reserve
Cumbria Wildlife Trust has made improvements to a Witherslack nature reserve after receiving a grant from the Tarmac Landfill Communities Fund.
The grant has been used to fund new benches and picnic tables at Foulshaw Moss Nature Reserve, a 350 hectare wildlife haven. Cumbria Wildlife Trust is also using the grant to produce backpacks for children, so that young visitors can get the most out of coming to the nature reserve. They will include binoculars and spotter sheets and they will be available to hire at the nature reserve.
Paul Waterhouse, reserves officer at Cumbria Wildlife Trust, said: “We are very grateful to the Tarmac Landfill Communities Fund, the funding has helped us make the visitors’ experience here at Foulshaw Moss Nature reserve even better.”
Children’s discovery centre opens at Crown Farm quarry
Working in partnership with the Cheshire Wildlife Trust, we opened a new Discovery Centre at Crown Farm Quarry in June 2019.
The exciting new educational facility holds education sessions for local school children to encourage them learn about nature and how they can play their part in preserving it for the future. The groups can get up close and personal with nature as they explore the restored area of the quarry which has been turned in to a nature reserve.
The Discovery Centre has both an indoor and outdoor classroom and has been specially designed to help children get the most out of their visit. During a trip to the centre, children can take part in various outdoor activities including habitat studies such as pond dipping, mini beast hunting and identifying wild flowers and trees.
Since opening in June 2019, we have welcomed over 200 children to the centre.