New Conservation Projects 2023 Announcement

Recently Vp have started funding three new conservation projects.

Concurrently, we enter year three of the Yorkshire Peat Project and year two of the sand dune restoration project in Fylde, Lancashire. The other three projects (bison reintroduction in Kent, rewilding in Dorset and white-tailed eagle reintroduction in Gwent) come to a conclusion in the next few months.

As committed to in our Environmental Policy, our aim is to do no harm to the natural world. Despite diligently seeking to reduce our environmental footprint wherever possible, our business, like most, still creates waste and pollution. Until we reach a point where this is not the case, we will continue to invest in nature conservation projects to address this imbalance.

When choosing projects, criteria include the prioritisation of long-term impact, maximising participation opportunities for colleagues and other stakeholders and the improvement of at least two ecosystem services such as climate regulation or pollination. We seek to reflect the diversity of UK ecosystems and showcase high impact interventions that are actively addressing both climate change and biodiversity loss.

As with all projects, volunteering opportunities will be advertised internally. Thanks to all those who’ve taken part in the past and to register interest in any future ones please contact Fred Pilkington.

Seagrass Restoration with Hampshire and the Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust

  • Part of the wider Solent Seascape Project, Vp are supporting seed collection and planting across three sites as well as community engagement.
  • Seagrass meadows can store twice as much carbon as soil on land and over the past century the UK has lost 92% of this ecosystem.
  • Restoring seagrass beds has the capacity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase carbon stores while delivering key benefits including improved fish nursery habitats, protection from storms and water quality.
  • We have already ran one successful volunteering morning for seagrass ID training.

The Lifescape Lynx Reintroduction Project

  • Vp are supporting a comprehensive, collaborative and multidisciplinary feasibility study of reintroduction of lynx to England, building on previous experience, lessons learned and the best available new evidence and information.
  • As a native apex predator, lynx would reduce numbers of primarily Roe and Sika deer and push them into upland environments. This should lead to increased natural woodland regeneration.
  • Through lynx predation, an increase in the number of deer, rabbit, hare and bird carcasses should fill a crucial, currently limited food source for juvenile birds of prey leading to greater numbers.

Agricultural Training for Wildlife Trust Land Management Advisors

  • 70% of the UK’s land is farmed and with the right combination of regenerative agriculture and land being set aside for nature (such as for rewilding), we can halt and reverse many of the declines in wildlife that we have seen since the Second World War.
  • Many farmers are willing to change their practices to help nature recover, not least in a context of failing business models, depleting soils and pollinators, and where agricultural payment schemes are shifting towards payment for “public goods” such as nature recovery.
  • Vp are going to support a selection of smaller Trusts to fill gaps in expertise of their advisors relating to farm economics and agriculture.
  • Such demand was there for this course that once advertised to the Trusts, the 12 spaces were filled in 12 hours.

Image credit: Uriel Soberanes


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