RPL Improves Wildlife Ecology Area
The Ricoh UK Products Limited (RPL) site in Telford has been expanding and improving its wildlife ecology area to enhance biodiversity in and around the business and local area.
RPL’s Building Services Team Leader, Jon Oakley believes that the green areas on site offer “the perfect environment” in which to plant woody shrubs, trees and wildflowers – which is part of an ongoing initiative being promoted in-house.
According to Jon: “RPL’s wildlife-friendly measures are easy to plan and execute, many of which are small scale, making them cheap to fund and avoid overly time-consuming and complex projects – whilst still having a positive effect on the ecology of the area.
“The key contribution that the suggested avenues for biodiversity gain is that they all improve wildlife connectivity. Telford, despite its great natural resources, is in danger of slowly but surely isolating its wildlife hotspots by severing the lifelines which bind them together due to both industrial and new housing overgrowth.
“RPL is and can continue to make a positive contribution to preventing this fragmentation by encouraging to promote biodiversity and wildlife on our site.”
In recent years, the introduction of Solar Farm areas at RPL have helped push and promote further activities which align with Ricoh’s global commitment in reducing its carbon footprint.
Furthermore, on one of the surrounding fields within the grounds of RPL, there is an abundance of wildlife, which is cherished as an untouched and undisturbed ecology area…
To promote and enhance RPL’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 15) – ‘Life on Land’, the Maintenance and Site Services department has introduced additional wildlife areas to try and encourage bird-nesting, especially Swallow nesting.
With ideas evolving from Jon Oakley – and a wider supporting team, in addition to Site Services Property Technician, Richard Chwiej, the recent project has come to fruition. Richard has been making hibernacula (shelters and habitats) utilising his carpentry skills, as well as using materials from on and off site, which may otherwise go to waste.
Further support has also been offered with the help of Site Services Grounds Technicians, John Edwards and Robert Beech, described as “a great team effort” by Jon.
In time for the harsh wintry weather, a good variety of bird and bug ‘hotels’ have been installed and established, in addition to hibernacula on the ground, encouraging various species to make use of these sheltered areas – including Common Toads which have spawned in pond areas nearby.
According to Jon, “these will all be great places for shelter and hibernation for some species during winter and I am pleased that they are already showing signs of use.
“In our wildlife ecology areas, we have so far seen 27 species of birds, 7 mammals and 17 types of insects. It’s great to be able to support the biodiversity in the local area.”
Over the last couple of years, as wildlife areas have expanded and improved, staff at RPL have also seen field and hedgerow mammals such as Bank Voles, Shrews and Pygmy Shrews, as well as Yellow Neck Mice.