British Airways and Heathrow have announced a new partnership with London Wildlife Trust to help protect local wildlife and ensure Hillingdon residents are able to enjoy the abundance of wildlife that surrounds them.
British Airways and Heathrow are jointly investing in the project, called ‘Connecting with Nature in Hillingdon’, which will help protect and enhance seven nature reserves and country parks in the Hillingdon area. They include Minet Country Park, Cranford Country Park, Huckerby’s Meadows, Yeading Brook Meadows, Ten Acre Wood, Gutteridge Woods, and Ickenham Marsh.
The project will also create volunteering opportunities in the community and build on the great work Hillingdon Council and the Trust are doing to ensure all corners of the community can access and enjoy the green spaces in their local area.
Hillingdon has many natural gems where residents and visitors can discover the likes of kingfishers and kestrels along the green lifeline of the Yeading Brook and Crane River.
Conservation work will be delivered with the expertise of London Wildlife Trust and include cattle grazing, path and fence maintenance, habitat restoration and new planting, as well as wildlife surveying.
To monitor progress, a ranger will be recruited to work closely with volunteers to look after the sites, and recruitment for these opportunities will open shortly. Regular events including guided walks and outdoor learning will also be organized, to help reconnect residents.
Mary Brew, Head of Community Investment and Responsible Business at British Airways, said: “At British Airways, we’re incredibly proud of our BA Better World Community Fund, which over the last year has supported more than 170 charities and organizations across the UK. This latest partnership with London Wildlife Trust is another brilliant project we’re delighted to support through the Community Fund. We’re looking forward to seeing ‘Connecting with Nature in Hillingdon’ deliver its program of community engagement activities and volunteering opportunities across the borough.”
Becky Coffin, Communities and Sustainability Director at Heathrow, said: “We are delighted to support the launch of Connecting with Nature in Hillingdon, helping to protect some of the borough’s most important wildlife sites and allowing the community to reconnect and play their own role in their conservation. Helping projects like this is exactly what our Giving Back Program is all about, helping to make this area a great place to live and work.”
Richard Barnes, Head of Conservation at London Wildlife Trust said: “This new partnership will enable us to build upon our 40-year investment in Hillingdon with a more ambitious program of capital works, volunteering and engagement activities on five of our reserves and two of Hillingdon’s; delivering a step change in connecting communities with these sites.”
Cllr Eddie Lavery, Hillingdon Council’s Cabinet Member for Residents’ Services, said: “We’re delighted to see the London Wildlife Trust working with Heathrow and British Airways to bring some welcome improvements to key wildlife sites in the south of our borough.
“We’re committed to creating a green and sustainable borough for residents, so we’re grateful two of Hillingdon’s biggest organizations see the value in protecting and enhancing the greener pockets of our borough to safeguard them for current and future generations.”