The overview of the challenge
Our customer, a major car manufacturer, wanted to improve the biodiversity in the grounds of its estate in southern England. The customer was keen to enhance the benefits to the wildlife as well as the community, while also making sure that the estate met its core purpose as a place of work.
The Mitie Landscapes team has been working closely with the customer for a few years, maintaining and improving the grounds of the estate, and we were the natural choice.
Improving habitats to increase biodiversity
Our team completed site walks to understand what habitats were contained within the grounds, and worked closely with the customer’s team to understand their staff needs. We identified several habitat enhancements and made recommendations for improvements.
Large expanses of amenity grassland were identified as having a low biodiversity value. It was agreed to allow them to naturally develop into meadows. This encouraged colonisation by the indigenous wildflower species and had the advantage of being self-sustaining.
Where the grassland extends into car parks, the areas closest to paths and parking spaces are mown to maintain access and wildflower species suited to short grass can thrive. The short grass also provides forage areas for ground feeding birds and basking areas for reptiles.
A wide area of open grassland was identified as a suitable place for a new orchard. Heritage fruit species were chosen and some trees planted as memorials to beloved members of the company.
The trees increase biodiversity and provide forage for pollinating insects, which in turn attracts birds and bats. Staff are encouraged to pick the fruit which provides a tasty treat for those walking past.
The lake edge was identified as an important habitat and refuge for water birds and amphibians. It has been developed into a wild habitat, containing many native marginal species of plant. And supports a balance of native species, with sections kept short to allow access to the lake for water birds and amphibians, and drinking spots for species such as hedgehogs.
An area of woodland was identified as a perfect location for a ‘secret wild garden’, for staff use and visiting primary school groups to learn about nature.
Informal paths were laid and a seating area created for school children, using recycled materials. Hedgehog tunnels were installed through fences, along with hedgehog houses, and a wildlife pond was added.
The area will develop into a thriving ecosystem, providing a home for aquatic and amphibian species, as well as a valuable learning resource for visiting school children.
Supporting biodiversity in a formal setting
It was recognised that the more formal areas of the car manufacturer’s campus, needed to remain structured and impressive all year round. Our Landscapes team worked with the customer to identify the best way to support a biodiverse formal landscape. We introduced species that not only look impactful but provide forage for pollinating species and cover for amphibians. Thus fulfilling our brief to satisfy the needs of wildlife, the customer and the community.
Why choose Mitie
At Mitie, we believe that first impressions count and the grounds around your building should be as well maintained as the inside. We are the natural choice when it comes to creating and maintaining beautiful, clean and safe grounds.
Our nationwide network of landscape specialists, and ecologists, deliver a high-quality horticultural service. We have more than 750 staff working on 7,000 sites across the UK.
Get in touch…
To find out more about how our landscapes team can help you improve the biodiversity of your sites and make sure you give the best impression every time.
- Landscaping design and planting
- Habitat design and management
- Biodiversity services
Plan Zero Consultancy’s Lucinda Lay talks biodiversity impact at COP26
Mitie Landscapes has become a Corporate Patron of British Conservation Charity, Plantlife, as part of its commitment to help support biodiversity across the UK.
Mitie is supporting the ‘No Mow May’ campaign which promotes biodiversity by postponing some of the lawn mowing for one month.