Conservation project at Warnham reserve

Staff's conservation workout with Horsham Green Gym SUS-150921-102325001
Staff's conservation workout with Horsham Green Gym SUS-150921-102325001

Office staff joined forces with Horsham Green Gym on Tuesday September 14 for a workout with a difference.

Sixteen staff from UK Power Networks’ income management team in Hazelwick Avenue, Crawley, volunteered for a nature conservation project at Warnham Nature Reserve.

The company delivers electricity supplies throughout Horsham district, regardless of who people pay their electricity bills to, and it encourages its 5,600 staff to spend two paid days each year volunteering or fundraising in the local community where it keeps the lights on.

In the morning the team cleared the route of a new hedge that will be created at the entrance to the reserve over the winter. They also did some ‘scrub-bashing’ - cutting back brambles and nettles to clear an area where the vegetation can be woven into a hedge.

In the afternoon the team donned wellingtons to work at the edge of a new reed bed, digging out silt to increase the depth of the pond for wildlife.

Jonathan Purdy, registration and settlement manager at UK Power Networks, said: “We’re supporting a traditional way of fence-making without using new materials. There are several ponds in the reserve which support bird life and over time they get silted up and need clearing.

“Our company has a strong charitable and social focus and I think it’s great to get involved in local projects like this. It’s also an opportunity to get out in the fresh air with colleagues doing something completely different from our normal jobs and supporting our local environment.”

Last year UK Power Networks’ employees spent more than 4,200 volunteering hours working with local charities and conservation groups, making 2014 its biggest ever year of volunteering.

Ryan Allison, volunteer support at Horsham District Council, said: “It’s always great to have groups out working in the countryside with us. The more helping hands we get the more projects we can undertake to improve the habitats around Horsham. I think it’s important for people to spend time caring for and enjoying their local countryside.”

Horsham Green Gym meets from 10am to 1pm each Tuesday and Thursday for conservation work at sites around Horsham. To get involved visit www.horshamgreengym.org.uk. Anyone interested in volunteering outside of these times can contact Ryan via parks@horsham.gov.uk

Report and picture contributed by UK Power Networks.