The London Wildlife Trust has secured further funding from integrated support services company Carillion plc, to support restoration and bio-diversity enhancement work being carried out by the London Wildlife Trust on the River Wandle at Carshalton.
The River Wandle is an important chalk stream in South London which flows through the boroughs of Croydon, Merton, Sutton, and Wandsworth. Over the years, the river has become dirty, overgrown and an unattractive environment to wildlife and the public.
Carillion has supported the London Wildlife Trust and its work on the River Wandle for a number of years in the form of grants from the Carillion Natural Habitats Fund. In addition Carillion, along with sister company, engineering, building services and project management specialist TPS, has provided several volunteer groups from the company’s offices in Battersea, Croydon and from various construction projects in London.
The new funding will help the London Wildlife Trust to focus on the wetlands improvements to benefit the future reintroduction of the water vole at Poulter Park and Watermeads Nature Reserve. Funding in the past has brought a huge improvement to the river and its surroundings. Work includes the felling of trees and clearance of vegetation, clearing rubbish, reducing the height of the weirs to smooth out the river profile to attract water voles, digging ponds, constructing refuges, paths, footbridges and kingfisher nesting areas, planting saplings, water plants and grasses.
The Carillion Natural Habitats Fund was initially set up in 2001 to help boost Wildlife Trusts and conservation work and to promote the engagement of their work amongst Carillion employees and other contractors. The fund provides financial support for 47 local Wildlife Trusts caring for almost 2,500 nature reserves across the country from Scotland to Dorset. To date, it has given close to £370,000 to support 60 projects across the UK.
“We prioritise requests for funding of projects that are near Carillion sites, so that our employees can also volunteer to work on the projects we support,” says John Baron, Integrated Management Systems Manager and Environmental & Sustainability Champion for TPS, who instigated the funding application and has participated in work days with London Wildlife Trust in previous years. “The Carillion Natural Habitats Fund has not only enabled the Wildlife Trust to secure some excellent gains for biodiversity across the UK, but also engaged people from within Carillion, TPS and the community in the delivery of these gains at a very local level.”
Baron continues: “Since our industry’s operations have a great potential to affect natural habitats and the wildlife they support, we feel passionate about being able to give something back in terms of money and time towards the preservation of natural habitats. This is important from both a social and environmental perspective, because natural habitats provide an important facility for relaxation and leisure for local communities, as well as having intrinsic value for the animal and plant species that live in these environments.”