Graduates from around the business work with local community to improve the biodiversity around Knaresborough 275kV substation.
Since January last year, a group of graduates from six different business areas has been working together to improve the land that surrounds the operational boundary at Knaresborough 275kV substation in North Yorkshire.
Through the Graduate Natural Grid project, they have planted a new wildflower meadow, made footpath enhancements, planted a key hedgerow and undertaken woodland management.
The project is helping recognise and enhance the value of our natural assets on at least 50 sites by 2020. Knaresborough substation is just one of the eight sites the 2018 graduate intake is working on, with more sites being added to the project by our latest graduate intake.
The graduate teams work closely with local communities to develop ideas that enhance the natural value of the site and reduce any risks associated with the land. They worked closely with the Conservation Volunteers (TCV) and North Yorkshire County Council’s Public Rights of Way team on initiatives that included planting a new wildflower meadow, installation of new barn owl and bat boxes, and making improvements to footpath way-marking.
Jonathan Miller, Graduate Safety, Health, Environmental and Sustainability Advisor, said: “Getting involved in the project helps us develop important business skills like project management, stakeholder engagement and budgeting. Each project is set up with the long-term impact in mind. After the immediate work is done, we create sustainability action plans to hand over to the business at the end of the project.”
The next stages of the project at Knaresborough include work with the local primary school on environmental education and electrical safety. The team is also in discussion with the local beekeeping association, to understand if the non-operational land could be used as a queen bee breeding site or a beekeeping training school.
Once all the work has been completed, a long-term management plan will be produced and the site handed back over to Workplace Services for the future.