BIODIVERSITY

Quadron will amend its operational plans to take account of local biodiversity needs and will take part in local initiatives through its contract Biodiversity Champions

Quadron's working methods can have an impact upon local biodiversity. Ways in which we modify activities to minimise disturbance to wildlife, working in conjunction with our clients include the following:

Contour-cutting and landscaping within parks - areas of long grass and undergrowth can be left around borders and in island pockets and meadow areas created to encourage different species of birds, butterflies and dragonflies for example. Paths can be cut through to make interesting walks. Quadron has worked with Friends of groups to change maintenance regimes to suit user requirements.

Mowing operations - these are timed to minimise their impact upon the environment, for example allowing flowers to set seed first.

Hedgerows & scrub - these can provide valuable habitat and food sources for many birds and other wildlife. all hedge cutting operations are timed to ensure that nesting birds are not disturbed. Leaf litter can be allowed to accumulate to provide cover for hedgehogs for example and pesticides are avoided where possible.

Stakeholder liaison - Quadron works with a variety of stakeholder groups, including local volunteers, "Friends of" groups, local ecology groups, the Wildlife Trust, Ecology officer and any other interested party. We also maintain information boards to explain to parks users, for example, why certain areas have been left unmaintained and to give information on the local flora and fauna.

Green Flag awards - these are outward evidence of consideration given to biodiversity issues through a proactive management plan. Quadron assists its clients with the development and implementation of their plans.

Biodiversity Champions - we have introduced five Biodiversity Champions into our Birmingham contracts to raise awareness of environmental issues amongst the workforce and to work with client officers, friends groups and other interested parties to change working methods to develop local biodiversity. The scheme has proved such a success that we are rolling it out across all our contracts (see download article attached).

Nicola Clarke, Horticultural Development Manager said "I am delighted to see the determination of the volunteers and I'm looking forward to developing this initiative in partnership with Birmingham City Council."

Recent activities include a bird survey at Sarehole Mill and a community conservation/clean up afternoon at Saltely Pools. This project involved cutting back self-set trees on the canal side prior to the bird nesting season. Future projects include planting nectar rich wild flowers near the apiary in Highbury Park, promoting biodiversity in the City Centre to celebrate the International Year of Biodiversity, and at the Selly Oak Park Festival in June by selling wildflower plugs and seeds in aid of a conservation charity and helping Friends groups with the preparation and setting up of the new Nature Trail.

Pictured right are the Company's first five Biodiversity Champions, Fredy Tematema, Steve Joynes, James Dudley, Chris Hicken and Andy Pember.

Birds & Bugs Homes - in support of Nechells in Bloom 2009 Quadron donated home made bird and bug boxes to local schools. Quadron's Alec Edwards designed and made the boxes in his workshop at home and the children were thrilled to receive them.

Nature Conservation - Quadron is managing nine local nature reserves on behalf of the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames. One of these is Castle Hill, a Scheduled Ancient Monument (SAM), site of a 13th century moated farmhouse. This site is deemed by English Heritage to be under threat. Quadron is working with volunteers from the Lower Mole Countryside Project to improve access in and around the site. Other sites managed include Tolworth Court Farm Medieval Moated Manor, another SAM. Key work is being done by our colleagues at Red Kite Conservation Services.