Members of the Shoreham Port team have been taking part in eco-centric activities this week, participating in both philanthropic efforts to better the local environment, as well as involvement in long-term planning and government strategy for the future of biodiversity in the UK.
The Port’s Director for Infrastructure & Climate Change, Tony Parker tackled the topic of biodiversity and government policy while attending the Westminster Energy Environment & Transport Forum’s Biodiversity and Species Protection conference this Thursday. The conference discusses the next steps for promoting and protecting biodiversity across England and takes place against the backdrop of the UK Government’s Environment Bill summer policy statement which will set out plans to introduce a mandatory approach to biodiversity net gain; requiring developers to ensure a 10% increase in habitat value for wildlife in building developments.
Shoreham Port are already at the forefront of this approach, as they continue to build office developments for local businesses that are sustainably designed, with features such as solar panels developed in partnership with Brighton Energy Co-op, a Community Benefit Society financed through investments from the local community. Units also feature electric vehicle charging points, cycle storage and on-site recycling storage facilities. Find out more about renting business units at Shoreham Port via their website.
The Port are also a member of the Brighton and Lewes Downs Biosphere Partnership, which is one of only six Biosphere projects in the UK and announced plans for a new biodiversity corridor along the Port’s seafront earlier this year. Biodiversity corridors are areas of vegetation that provide shelter, food and protection to wildlife that imitate the structure and diversity of native vegetation. The Biosphere stretches along the Downs around the landward side of the City and the project will aim to help join the two seaward ends of the biosphere together along the coast on the seaward side of the City. The corridor will be gradually created through a policy of including wildlife planting sites on all of Shoreham Port’s new development sites, and by identifying and nurturing wildlife planting on all other sites that could contribute to local biodiversity.
Tony Parker, Director for Infrastructure & Climate Change commented “We at Shoreham Port continue to develop our modern development practices to ensure that we remain at the forefront of biodiversity and species protection. Policy and legislation in this field are necessarily changing just as quickly as the climate, and we aim to stay at the forefront of efforts to keep up to speed with these changes.”
Meanwhile, Katie MacAllister, Communications Project Manager and Emily Kenneally, Communications & Stakeholder Manager took their staff voluntary days at Moulsecoomb Forest Garden & Wildlife Project this week, offering some assistance in the maintenance of the charity’s garden. The Moulsecoomb Forest Garden & Wildlife Project provides support to social services and schools, specialising in helping those with learning difficulties and children struggling in mainstream school. Therapies and qualifications that they offer are designed to complement the school curriculum in their ‘outdoor classroom’, with topics ranging from conservation, ecology, carpentry, woodland management, horticulture and cooking.
Katie commented “Moulsecoomb Forest Garden works to protect local wildlife habitats and promote biodiversity and also acts as a safe place for the community to come together, helping fight social exclusion and improve community health. We had a great day volunteering with the team, and we hope other businesses will get involved by volunteering their time as well.’’