A volunteer team of staff from Arjowiggins Graphic UK, took a day out of the office to donate their time to the conservation of Great Crested Newts. The team worked on Popley Ponds, a designated conservation site located just over a mile from their UK office.
The team of eleven, including three volunteers from Marnel & Popley Conservation Volunteers, spent the day coppicing overgrown areas of the pond site whilst restoring and extending the perimeter hedge. The work resulted in increased accessibility to the pond for visitors and an improved habitat for the newts and other local wildlife, including other amphibians and reptiles.
Materials for the hedge were sourced from the coppicing process so no additional material had to be brought onto the site. Popley Pond is a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC) and it is therefore important that the site is regularly maintained. The site is a perfect habitat for Great Crested Newts – of which there are an abundance on site.
Great Crested Newts are dependent on both aquatic and terrestrial habitat only utilising aquatic habitat to breed. They often travel up to 500m from the breeding ponds.
The conservation day follows the success of two previous annual volunteer days at the Popley site and a coppicing day at Great Sorrell’s Copse in Chineham.
Gill Smallman of Marnel & Popley Conservation Volunteers, said:
“Great Crested Newts are living and breeding in these ponds, some were found by a licence holder and shown to the group. The newts, found by one of the groups supervisors with a licence to work with Great Crested Newts were very healthy and are clearly doing really well here.
Great Crested Newts are a European protected species. The animals, its eggs, their breeding sites and resting places are protected by law. In the last century, Great Crested Newts have declined across Europe. This is a result of pond loss and deterioration, making sites such as Popley Pond of great importance.”
Angela De Vorchik, Operational Marketing Manager from Arjowiggins Graphic UK in Basingstoke commented,
“As an eco-friendly recycled paper manufacturer, the environment is very important to us and is part of our ethics and company policy. To be able to help the local wildlife was fantastic. It was a really good team building day that helps the community.”
Arjowiggins Graphic headquarters, based in Basingstoke, is part of Arjowiggins, the world’s leading manufacturer of creative high-tech materials and papers."