An eight strong team of Arjowiggins Graphic volunteers took a day out of the office to donate their time to conservation volunteering, working close to Popley Ponds, Basingstoke. This is the second time the team has donated their time to an area of local environmental importance, undertaking much needed conservation work.
Popley Ponds has a significant Great Crested Newt population, protected under Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and is a European Protected Species all due to a decline in their natural habitat. They live on land and from October to March can often be found hibernating under logs and stones however they breed in ponds during the months of May to July. The Management Plan written by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council has been agreed by Natural England and the work involved in managing the site specifically focuses on conserving the newts as well as other wetland species.
Arjowiggins Graphic is the market leading specialist manufacturer of recycled papers. Commenting on its volunteering initiative UK Operational Marketing Manager, Angela De Vorchik said:
“Our job is to manufacture and promote market leading sustainable paper and packaging products a key element of which is to reduce the environmental impact of printed material for our customers Helping to protect and restore our local environment fits well with these values and we were delighted to be able to give our time to a deserving local project”.
The team spent the day coppicing hazel around the pond area, a significant part of the winter management work for the site. Coppicing of hazel is a traditional woodland management technique which not only produces usable material like stakes, but also helps to prolong the lifetime of the hazel itself by promoting regeneration. The pond area now benefits from more light and it has made access easier for people who use the site to walk and enjoy nature. The harvested hazel stakes and whips will be removed from the site over the course of the winter and used to lay a hedge on Black Dam and Crabtree, a superb example of conservation work at its best.
Zoe Channon, Community Development Officer for Green Spaces for Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council said
“As owners of this beautiful area, we are so lucky to have a local company that wants to give up their time and energy to undertake the vital work needed at Popley Ponds. The team had a great day out, enthusiasm was high as was the output. This is a really important site for many reasons and the work the Arjowiggins Graphic Team undertook has made a significant contribution, thank you!”