We rely whenever possible on the natural environment to provide ecosystem services to our business, including visual screening, noise abatement, flood attenuation and security.
Ecosystems provide all of us with essential services: they regulate the climate and absorb CO2, purify air and water, pollinate plants, provide food and other resources.
On a subtler level access to green space and the variety of life it supports enriches our health and well-being.
Understanding, managing and preserving the integrity and value of this natural capital is essential for all of us, for now and into a sustainable future.
With an extensive property portfolio (required to carry our network of energy transmission assets), we have a unique opportunity to make a positive contribution to the preservation and enhancement of the natural environment and its ecosystems.
We identify specific sites where we can build a natural grid of habitats that enable biodiversity to thrive and provide valuable, accessible green spaces for the communities touched by our work.
Working in partnership with the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust at our 400Kv substation at Feckenham, this project is developing sustainable land management plans that enhance the biodiversity and habitat value of the land, encouraging traditional grazing techniques with a tenant farmer and undertaking conservation activities that align to the priority objectives of the Wildlife Trusts living landscape project - The Forest of Feckenham.
The substation sits in the heart of the living landscape and is surrounded by a multitude of habitats including small meadows, young woodland, ancient hedgerows and a large lake all supporting an abundance of flora and fauna.
Through engagement with the Wildlife Trust and Butterfly Conservation the site has also been identified as a haven for the Brown hairstreak butterfly, a UK priority species found only in this area of the east midlands.
This project has identified opportunities to work with the local community as well as enhancing connectivity on a wider scale by working with other land managers.
A number of activities are planned including, hedgerow planting, coppicing, creation of woodland glades and invasive species management which will incorporate local Wildlife Trust volunteers and National Grid employees.
The success of this project demonstrates how National grid can make a positive contribution to local/regional ecological objectives whilst also delivering business benefit.
Cefn Drum traditional grazing
Overhead line works in West Glamorgan highlighted an opportunity to restore an overgrown area of common land to traditional grazing conservation - clearing bracken, gorse, purple moor grass, soft rush and invasive rhododendron.
National Grid is helping to fund a three-year project to restore traditional grazing land and encourage biodiversity on the commons of Cefn Drum and Graig Fawr, near Swansea, Wales.
The aim is to remove native and non-native invasive species from extensive areas of the 2,000-acre common, and restore conservation grazing in their place.
Restoring grazing will also help tackle the site’s long history of antisocial activities, including fly-tipping, fires, and the illegal use of scrambling bikes and off-road vehicles.
Other funders are Waste Recycling Environmental (WREN), Environment Wales, the Countryside Council for Wales, the City and Council of Swansea, the Environment Agency Wales and the Gower Society. The project is being managed by PONT (a not-for-profit organisation that promotes conservation grazing), on behalf of the West Glamorgan Commoners Association.
By supporting the project, National Grid gets better access to our network and helps to provide a lasting positive legacy to the local community.