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Catchment Management

Yorkshire Water colleagues help the RSPB give nature a home at Fairburn Ings Nature Reserve

Here at Yorkshire Water, we believe the best way we can make a real difference to Yorkshire communities is through volunteering. So, in September this year we gave 36 colleagues time off from normal duties so they could help out at RSPB Fairburn Ings nature reserve.

Fairburn Ings is managed by the RSPB. The reserve, with its walks and nature trails through various habitats, dipping ponds and lakes, is an ideal place for visitors to enjoy, watch and learn more about wildlife.

Early in September, Maria Hullah and her team of eight customer service specialists spent a day removing silver birch saplings from the Coal tips trail, an ecologically sensitive area of the reserve. Even though it was a very hot day and hard work, the volunteers all had smiles on their faces.

For three days at the end of September, Adam Folkard from the Governance and Compliance team brought a team of 28 volunteers to the reserve.

They spent the three days clearing scrub, young trees and bushes from the reedbed so it can flourish and provide habitat for rare birds, including the enigmatic bittern.

Yorkshire Water has a partnership with a number of organisations, including the RSPB, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, Sheffield Wildlife Trust and the Aire Rivers Trust, to conserve and enhance the Yorkshire region. We have adopted RSPB Fairburn Ings for our colleague volunteering programme and over the past three years, 290 colleagues have volunteered there.

Adam, who led the last team of volunteers from Yorkshire Water, said: “It’s great to get out on the ground and help make a difference at sites like these. We’re encouraged to volunteer and we get a lot out of the day just by spending it together as a team, doing something different. Yorkshire Water has a big, diverse workforce with lots of different skills and we're really keen to share these with local communities and partner organisations.” 

Sally Granger, Aire Valley Visitor Experience Officer for the RSPB, said: “Breeding season is over and now it's all hands on deck to clear encroaching scrub so areas stay open for ground nesting birds like skylark and oystercatcher.

“Hard work of volunteers like those from Yorkshire Water really does help us keep giving nature a home at Fairburn Ings.”

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