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Viridor Credits offers UK biodiversity boost to all creatures great and small

26th May 2020

Viridor Credits’ support of a project which contributed to a new record crane population of more than 200 birds has highlighted the organisation’s contribution to significant UK biodiversity projects.

Funding from Viridor Credits Environmental Company gave the Great Crane Project the help it needed to improve existing habitat and hand-rear young cranes for release on the Somerset Levels and Moors.

But the Great Crane Project is just one of many Viridor Credits funding initiatives focusing on vital UK biodiversity initiatives. The organisation has funded more than 100 biodiversity, community and heritage projects in the past year (2019/20) in England, with funds totalling almost £5 million.

Alison Salvador, General Manager of Viridor Credits said: "Viridor Credits has always taken a great deal of pride in the part we were able to play in the project to create and improve the existing habitat for the reintroduction of cranes on the Somerset Levels and moors. Our chairman even helped with hand-rearing young birds prior to their release.

"The board has always been keen to increase the number of biodiversity projects we fund throughout England both for the provision, conservation, restoration or enhancement of a natural habitat and also for the maintenance or recovery of a species in its natural habitat. We know how quickly these habitats can be lost forever."

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Viridor Credits has also supported the following spaces, places and habitats across the UK:

Petworth House and Deer Park, a historic National Trust property in West Sussex, which received £77,244 funding for restoration to its Shepherd’s Lodge pond. The project will prevent further erosion, reversing the loss of biodiversity and creating a scenic feature of the park for the 250,000 annual visitors to enjoy.

Horseshoe bats, which are a protected species, have declined dramatically because of human activities and degradation of habitat and food sources. Funding from Viridor Credits will help Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust to conserve the horseshoe bat population in Forest of Dean, a UK bat hotspot.

Del Jones, Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust’s Senior Reserves Manager West, said: “The Forest of Dean is of national and European importance as a stronghold for horseshoe bat populations. The funding we have received through Viridor Credits is helping us to manage important foraging sites to safeguard their future.

"Replacing fencing around our Stender’s quarry site, and installing livestock handling facilities, enables us to graze difficult sites with traditional native breeds, whilst sensitive coppicing provides transitional edge habitat. This mosaic of species-rich open grassland and structured woodland edge provides vital habitat for an abundance of invertebrates and provides connectivity to other bat feeding grounds in the wider landscape."

Alison said: “We have also seen strong partnerships formed in aid of saving land habitat for wildlife. Ausewell Woods is an ancient 138-hectare woodland located in Dartmoor National Park.

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"Woodland Trust approached us for funding towards protecting this irreplaceable habitat. The Trust wished to use the £50,000 funding to purchase 72 hectares, with the remainder of the land being bought by the National trust.

“Similarly, many wildlife species that rely on wetlands have suffered significant declines, due to a loss of 90% of UK wetland habitats in the last 100 years. We were pleased to assist Wiltshire Wildlife Trust Ltd with funding for £42,212, to expand an area of nationally important wetland habitat to 1 hectare of additional wetland habitat.”

Many projects not only address biodiversity but on completion, they also benefit many people who get to enjoy the outcome of the work put in. From the six valley parks leased to Devon Wildlife Trust, Exeter’s 50-hectare Ludwell Valley Park is the park most in need of habitat enhancement, but also enjoys the most local demand from people wanting to encourage wildlife.

Devon Wildlife Trust’s project will receive £48,692 to enhance the new nature reserve’s wildlife by restoring hedgerows and creating 10.5 hectares of wildflower habitat. Visitors will continue to engage with nature while enjoying spectacular city views.

Chris Moulton, Exeter Valley Parks Officer at Devon Wildlife Trust, said: “This generous and very welcome grant from Viridor Credits will help us to implement key improvements at Ludwell Valley Park. The benefits for wildlife and people should soon become apparent as next year’s newly laid hedges will be alive with birdsong.

"Visiting insects will take advantage of the new areas of wildflowers, while frogs, toads and newts will be begin to colonise the newly dug pond. Ludwell Valley Park provides the people of Exeter with a much-needed open space in which to exercise and have contact with wildlife, especially over recent weeks due to the Coronavirus lockdown.”

Viridor Credits has provided opportunities for communities through the Landfill Communities Fund, which it receives from Viridor. The Fund is a tax credit scheme that enables operators of landfill sites to donate a percentage of their tax liabilities to environmental projects.

Visit Viridor Credits’ website here, for more information.

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