Tree donation takes root at Swanwick Lakes Nature Reserve

09 June 2022

Air traffic control company NATS, and IT and business consulting firm CGI have partnered up to deliver hundreds of trees to local charity, the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust (HIWWT).

The 300 trees were donated by CGI, an IT and business consulting firm that provide NATS with resource and support to the Analytics department; and they were actually planted by members of the Analytics team, most of whom had not previously met having worked remotely during the pandemic.

Some of the trees were planted at the 35-hectares Swanwick Lakes Nature Reserve to enhance the habitat, which is home to many different species of native deciduous trees, lots of which are fruit bearing and provide a valuable source of food for local wildlife. The donated trees were much needed to restock gaps caused by the clearing of ash trees affected by ash dieback.

Just some of the numerous species donated included Bird Cherry, Crab Apple, Hawthorn, Hazel, and English Field Maple. Planted in one area to help increase the saplings survival rate, it will take more than 10 years for the trees to reach maturity.

In partnership with the HIWWT, NATS created the Swanwick Lakes Nature Reserve when building NATS Swanwick Centre. Established in 1993, the Reserve features scenic lakes, woods and grassland, in what was once a brick quarry and sits alongside the Swanwick air traffic control centre.

CGI donated the 300 trees (100 planted at Swanwick Lakes Nature Reserve and 200 planted at Roydon Woods Nature Reserve, Brockenhurst) as part of its ‘No Planet B’ initiative, which has seen the company plant over 15,000 trees in support of UK woodland creation to date.

Steve Vance, Director, Space, Defence and Intelligence, CGI, said: “We take our commitment to reducing our impact on the environment very seriously and tree planting such as this is an important part of our   carbon reduction programme. Working with the Analytics team from NATS on this project on the day also provided a great opportunity to help strengthen work relationships, which is more important now than ever before, as we work remotely and miss a lot of in-person interactions.”

Tim Bullock, Supply Chain and Property Director, said: “Our suppliers are crucial to the work we undertake at NATS and we strive to work with those who are environmentally and socially sustainable and who share the same values as us when it comes to being a responsible business. We really appreciated the donation from CGI, to one of our charity partners, the HIWWT, and hope to match other suppliers with good causes in the future.”

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