NATS recognised with wildlife award
Air traffic control company, NATS has been recognised by the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts for its work managing the Swanwick Lakes Nature Reserve.
Situated next door to the NATS air traffic control centre and on the site of a former clay works, the Swanwick reserve is made up of 36 hectares of woodland and grassland as well as six beautiful lakes.
The Wildlife Trusts’ ‘Biodiversity Benchmark’ is awarded to companies that can demonstrate excellence in managing land and encouraging a wide range of wildlife to thrive. The reserve is home to many different species, including around 140 that are protected or notable. This includes species of amphibian, reptile, and bat, supported by a range of habitats including open freshwater, meadow and ancient semi-natural woodland. The site also holds impressive numbers of dragonfly, damselfly, butterfly and bird species.
The reserve hosts thousands of visitors a year, including a number of local schools. Last year the reserve’s education team hosted over 1,200 local school children and over 30 community groups, providing the opportunity for visitors of all ages and abilities to explore and learn about the countryside.
Cara Bentley, NATS Deputy Environment Manager, said: “We’re delighted to receive the benchmark. It follows a rigorous nine month certification process and makes NATS one of only 17 companies around the country to have received it.
“The benchmark confirms that we’re focusing our efforts on the right species and habitats and provides assurance that the site is being managed to a high standard. The reserve is open to the public and is a wonderful community resource. I’d encourage anyone to visit.”
NATS manages the reserve alongside Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust.
Debbie Tann, Chief Executive of the Trust added: “We are delighted that NATS have had their commitment to biodiversity recognised through this prestigious benchmark. This is a fantastic recognition of the value NATS places on this cherished site and the strong partnership with the Wildlife Trust which makes Swanwick Lakes such a success for wildlife and for the community.”