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Yorkshire Water Employees Assist the RSPB Give Nature a Home at Fairburn Ings Nature Reserve

Yorkshire Water is of the belief that employee volunteering is the best way through which it can make a real difference to Yorkshire communities. Consequently, September of this year saw it give 36 employees some time off from their regular, official duties so that they could help out at RSPB Fairburn Nature Reserve.


Fairburn Ings Nature Reserve is managed by RSPB. With its dipping ponds and lakes, nature trails and walks through various habitats, it’s an ideal place for visitors to come and enjoy, watch and learn more about wildlife.

Maria Hullah led her team of eight customer services specialists to spend a day removing silver birch saplings from the Coal tips trail, earlier in September, an ecologically sensitive area of the reserve. Despite the fact that it was a lot of hard work aggravated by the fact that it was a very hot day, all the volunteers eagerly went about their work with smiles on their faces.

At the end of September (for three days) Adam Folkard from the Governance and Compliance team brought a 28-strong team of volunteers to the reserve. The three days were spent cleaning young trees, bushes and scrub, from the reedbed so that it can flourish and make for the ideal habitat for rare birds, including the very enigmatic bittern.

Yorkshire Water is in partnership with a number of organisations, including the RSPB, the Aire Rivers Trust, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and Sheffield Wildlife Trust to conserve the Yorkshire region. The company’s adoption of RSPB Fairburn Ings for its employee volunteering programme has seen a total of 290 employees volunteer over the past three years.

Adam who led the last team of volunteers from Yorkshire Water said: “It’s great to get out on the ground and help make a difference at sites like these. We’re encouraged to volunteer and we get a lot out of the day just by spending it together as a team, doing something different. Yorkshire Water has a big, diverse workforce with lots of different skills and we’re really keen to share these with local communities and partner organisations.”

Sally Granger, Aire Valley Visitor Experience Officer for the RSPB said; “Breeding season is over and now it’s all hands on deck to clear encroaching scrub so areas stay open for ground nesting birds like skylark and oystercatcher.”
“Hard work of volunteers like those from Yorkshire Water really does help us keep giving nature a home at Fairburn Ings.”

The RSPB is the UK’s largest nature conservation charity, inspiring everyone to give nature a home. Together with its partners, it protects threatened birds and wildlife so that its towns, coasts and countryside will teem with wildlife once again. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is a registered charity: England and Wales no. 207076, Scotland no. SC037654