Rail workers have been helping wildlife trust volunteers with essential maintenance at at nature reserve in Shipley.
Workers from Derby firm Carillion Rail in Derby have joined staff from Derbyshire Wildlife Trust when they carried out essential habitat management work at its Woodside Nature Reserve.
Twenty-five Carillion workers joined forces with the trust’s volunteers as part of the company’s Give and Gain Day.
They helped clear scrub from one of the reserve’s fields, which is home to a variety of butterfly and moth species, including the rare dingy skipper moth.
Woodside Nature Reserve is the largest nature reserve in Derbyshire outside the Peak District National Park and is next to Shipley Country Park.
The trust is managing part of the reserve as a working farm with grazing livestock, and sheep will now be able to graze the area cleared to prevent scrub growing back and shading out the wildflowers and bare ground that provide important habitats for the insects .
It is the second work day Carillion staff have taken part in. In September they helped clear non-native rhododendron from Lea Wood, near Cromford.
The working farm initiative has attracted some criticism from people who use the area, who claimed it would impact on wildlife.
. Reserves Officer Kate Lemon explains: “The help from Carillion was invaluable – we completed our task in half the time it would normally take us with our own volunteers. Having extra manpower was so helpful – and Carillion also helped secure donations of tools and equipment from its own suppliers, which we have been able to keep, and came up with a generous cash donation too. Support like this makes a real difference, and we are very grateful to everyone at Carillion Rail who has helped us.”
James Steele from Carillion Rail said: “Becoming a corporate sponsor with Derbyshire Wildlife Trust has enabled the rail team to fulfil its community engagement requirements by undertaking a number of exciting projects. We have built a strong relationship with the reserve officers and have been able to support them over and above what has been asked for. Our new values “We Care, We achieve together, We improve, We deliver” have helped local communities in providing them with nature reserves to enjoy for years to come. We are busy planning more exciting projects throughout 2014 and will look forward to joining the reserve team back at Lea Wood in September.”