As a successful and sustainable business, our vision is to take a leading role in the stewardship of open spaces by assisting our clients and partners to manage and improve them by protecting, conserving and enhancing biodiversity in a holistic and responsible manner. By investing in this vision we can make an enduring contribution to biodiversity and the environment for the benefit of all. We employ an Environmental Advisor to develop our company approach, culminating in our biodiversity strategy document 'Together for Nature'. This document provides company-wide guidance on what we are doing to best implement improvements to our business methodologies and contract management techniques.

Conservation Programmes

Together for Nature

Conservation of the natural world is of paramount importance. With an ever-growing population, pressure on open spaces is increasing; both in terms of development for housing and community infrastructure and on amenity use of green areas. Habitats are under constant threat from these pressures, as well as increased intensity of farming practices. We have a responsibility as land managers to ensure that the works we carry out for our clients are as ecologically sensitive as possible, and are aware that any green space has the potential to be a refuge for nature.

St. John’s Wood Local Nature Reserve (LNR) is one of the open spaces that we manage, on behalf of the City of Westminster. Westminster is one of the most highly densely populated areas in London; with visitors and workers travelling in, its population swells to over a million people during the day. St. John’s Wood LNR is therefore a vital breathing space in the heart of the city, for both people and wildlife. We manage this space therefore to encourage and support nature. There is a dedicated wildlife area, consisting of mature broadleaf woodland and a mixed species hedge. Within this area we maintain log and habitat piles and have installed bird boxes in the trees.

Further out in the reserve we have made and installed bug hotels, and have wild flowers such as bluebells and wild garlic growing through one of the tree-lined avenues which run through the site. St. John’s Wood is also one of the sites where we compost the green waste from across the contract, helping us to achieve recycling rates of 100% of green waste.

Further afield in Westminster, we have installed a number of wildflower areas in parks across the borough, as well as in our housing areas. In places where wildflower areas would not be appropriate, we have installed subtle habitat features such as bug hotels, bird boxes and loggeries. We have also changed some areas of annual bedding to herbaceous perennial planting, reducing green waste and our carbon footprint, as well as ensuring a better nectar source for pollinating insects.

Guided by Regional Biodiversity Action Plans created by leading conservation experts, our biodiversity team have created an action plan for every contract we manage. These have the aim of assisting our managers in looking into schemes they can support, which will help their clients meet their legal obligations for reversing the decline of the target species and habitats in their area. Monthly reporting back to the biodiversity team ensures that we are having a continuous and quantifiable positive impact in our clients’ areas.

Activities we have undertaken in the past twelve months for our clients include:

Bulb planting, mini-beast hunts and bird box making with local schools

Wildflower plug planting and seed sowing with gardening clubs

Donation of staff time to Wildlife Trusts

Invasive species removal

School holiday activities including mini-beast hunts for local communities

We also invest in training for our staff to broaden their knowledge and skills to better benefit the works we carry out for our clients and offer advice where appropriate.