Bird watching at Farmoor nature reserve.
Sites of Special Scientific Interest.
We manage 12 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) which are legally protected wildlife areas. We work hard to look after these special places and to benefit the wildlife that flourishes there.
Around 660 hectares of our SSSI land area (approximately 50 per cent) has been assessed by Natural England as ‘favourable’, the highest status possible. For the remaining 640 hectares that are not currently meeting this target, this may sometimes be a result of wider population trends rather than specific conditions on site. We’re working with Natural England and other specialists to understand how we can make even more improvements to the condition of these areas.
Invasive non-native species.
An invasive non-native species (INNS) is any non-native animal or plant that has the ability to grow and spread causing damage to the environment and preventing some of our processes working as they should on our operational sites.
We are continuing to identify the invasive species on our landholdings; so that we can we can begin managing the impact and threat of them in a more proactive manner. Read more about our proactive approach to managing invasive non-native species in our case study below:
Wild about Thames.
We run a programme of events called Wild about Thames to raise awareness about the ecological importance of our sites and the wildlife that can be found on them. These events help educate our people, as well as our customers, about the importance of our work to conserve and enhance biodiversity.
We ran 14 Wild about Thames events in 2017/18 which highlighted the importance of habitats such as woodlands and wetlands. Attendees learned about specific habitats and their associated wildlife, and took part in some active management. Click on the case study below to find out more:
Enhancing our sites.
We invested around £500,000 on 33 different projects to improve biodiversity and access at our sites in 2017/18. This includes building boardwalks, planting orchards and hedgerows, creating bird hides, and improving existing and creating new wetland areas. Many other projects helped to improved visitor experience and enhanced biodiversity and included creating wader scrapes, building education facilities, improving signage, fencing and walking routes at numerous sites and updating a club house belonging to a sailing group. The case study below highlights some of the work that has been taking place at our nature reserves and operational sites: