Bunny Old Wood: From Grassland to Grassland – A Nature Recovery Success Story

The Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust and British Gypsum staff have worked together for many years, but the work of the past 12 months will really support nature’s recovery through the transformation of an area of ​​barren grassland into wildflower meadow adjacent to the Bunny Charity’s Old Wood.

97% of species-rich grassland has been lost since the 1930s and last year British Gypsum joined the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust in the fight to restore the UK’s declining wildflower habitat.

The company worked with the Trust to convert a field next to Bunny Old Wood, close to British Gypsum’s headquarters in East Leake. The creation of the 3.3 acre wildflower meadow is an exciting contribution to creating a nature recovery network for Nottinghamshire, enabling the region to regenerate and attract wild flower species .

A Nature Recovery Network is a connected system of important places for wild plants and animals. It allows plants, animals, seeds, nutrients and water to move from place to place and allows the natural world to adapt to change. It provides places for plants and animals to live, feed and reproduce. It can only do this effectively if, like our road network, it is treated as a coherent whole.

Grasslands are a brilliant habitat, home to eight times more wildlife than mowed grass. Rich in wildflowers, it will attract pollinators and other insects and act as a natural buffer to protect Bunny Old Wood’s former woodland habitat.

It will also provide food for birds and amphibians residing in the wood, such as the natural hedgerows the UK gypsum distribution team helped build – learning the ancient skill of hedging in the process. Wildflower seeds will also be a beneficial food source for small mammals such as mice and voles that reside in hedgerows and woods.

The Trust and British Gypsum are looking forward to a successful Spring and Summer 2020 season.

Senior Estates and Minerals Planner Jennifer Saunders said: ‘The site is reaping the benefits and we were really pleased to see that many species were already showing up in our grassland at Bunny Wood last year, some of which were possibly dormant for up to 20 years! These include meadow vetch, agrimone, white daisies and common spotted orchids.

“Much more than pretty flowers, grasslands are unparalleled refuges for wildlife, and we look forward to seeing what will appear this year too as the species develops and we hope it can establish itself more. far in the network in the future.”

Jennifer continued: “We all have a role to play and we are delighted to be able to get involved at the scale of the local landscape close to where we work. The volunteer activity completes our corporate sponsorship which we are happy to announce that we have just renewed for another year”,

Ruth Grice of the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust said: “We need to create a network of nature recovery that stretches across all parts of our towns and cities, bringing wildlife and the benefits of a healthy natural world to every part of life. Let flowers bloom along roadsides, install green roofs on city skylines, plant more street trees to give people shady walks in the summer, and encourage entire communities to garden for wild plants and animals. can all play a role.

Ruth continued: “We hope that by working with British Gypsum it will not only provide a start for a grassland recovery network in Nottinghamshire, but it will also inspire staff to get involved at home too, as studies have shown the benefits of living and working close to nature. .”

The Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust and British Gypsum plan to continue their commitment in 2020 to improve habitat restoration at Bunny Old Wood and inspire others to do the same with advisory reports detailing current levels of biodiversity. These will then provide advice for future improvements and monitor the improvement of the site for wildlife.

They look forward to more activities with the staff, including bat walks and conservation volunteer days. Everyone involved is looking forward to seeing the improvements and also being able to enjoy the wildlife and habitats with the local community.

For more information on Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trusts business partnerships go online https://www.nottinghamshirewildlife.org/support-us/business-partnerships or ask for Ruth on 0115 958 8242.

Chris B. Hall