Becoming Carbon Positive
As ecologists visiting many sites throughout the year and, collectively, we drive >400,000 work miles annually. We also run three offices and several of our staff work at least some of the time from home. So, we are serious about reducing our footprint. Our commitment to be a climate positive company is achieved through a three-pronged approach.
1. Dickenson’s Meadow
In 2019, we bought a six-acre grassland site overlooking Rutland Water. Our aim is to turn it into a wild hay meadow and gain Local Nature Reserve (LNR) designation.
Apart from an annual hay cut, Dickenson’s Meadow has had little to no active wild meadow management for 60 years. As a consequence, the sward is dominated by grasses that out-compete rare wild hay meadow flowers.
“Grasslands form a major part of the natural and cultural heritage of the UK and this is being recognised by an increasingly large part of our population. However, both agricultural intensification and neglect have led to a severe reduction in the extent and quality of our grasslands, particularly of hay meadows. Indeed, in some regions, roadside verges are the only places where species-rich grasslands remain”.
Dr David Parker CEcol CEnv FCIEEM, Chair, Natural Environment Advisory Group
Did you know, it took around 6,000 years for species-rich grasslands for which the UK is globally famous to form, yet since 1930 we have lost 97% of them and counting…
Species-rich grassland is different to the bright green, intensively-farmed grassland that covers nearly half of the UK. For a start it’s now rare, covering less than 1% of UK land. Yet these remaining isolated fragments are home to an unprecedented richness of species; hundreds of different wild flowers and fungi have co-evolved over millennia. This unparalleled plant diversity provides the life support for our invertebrates, birds, mammals.
The Government has a 25 year plan to Improve the Environment with an ambition to create or restore 500,000 hectares of wildlife-rich habitat. The good news is that no habitat is richer in wildlife than species-rich grassland.
That’s why it’s called species-rich…
We very much want to do our bit to help achieve that target. As part of our plan, we are creating our own 25-year biodiversity management plan to make Dickenson’s Meadow a species-rich grassland – i.e. a better habitat than it is now.
In the summer of 2019, we recorded almost 300 flora and fauna species living in the meadow. We are confident that, with proper management, we can double that number by the year 2040.
2. Offsetting via Ecologi
In partnership with Ecologi, we pledge to offset more than 31 tonnes of carbon dioxide each month, not only erasing our company footprint, but ensuring we are creating/capturing more carbon than we are using. So far, we’ve achieved…
which is equivalent to one of the following
3. Our company pledge
The above are reflected as part of our 3-year strategic plan – ER2025 – along with other initiatives: