A team of financial services staff swapped suits for spades with a day’s volunteer work at Saltwells Nature reserve.
The 11-strong team from Lombard West Midlands Region, the business arm of Natwest/RBS shrugged off their corporate responsibilities and got stuck in to a day’s hard graft at the much loved local nature reserve.
The team helped with heathland restoration and grassland maintenance, pruning back trees, clearing paths, clearing the hay meadow, pulling out unwanted scrub and thinning out the reed beds. Their work helped improve access to the site and enhanced the environment for wildlife benefitting the habitat of the common lizard, butterflies and dragonflies.
Councillor Karen Shakespeare, cabinet member for environmental, highways and street services:
We’re really lucky to have a dedicated team of volunteers and an active friends group at Saltwells, helping to make the most of this much loved nature reserve. Welcoming bigger groups down for a full day’s work can really help us to make a lot of progress in a short time.
"I’m really glad that the Lombards team enjoyed their time with us, they really got stuck in to the work and had a lot of fun. It’s a unique team-building activity and I hope that other businesses will consider working with us, enjoying a day away from the office and giving something back to the community at the same time."
Phil Jackson, director of asset finance, Lombard West Midlands region said:
"Giving back to the local community is really important to us, and we’re lucky that as part of Natwest/RBS team, every member of staff is able to give 14 hours of their work time each year to a community cause."
“In the past we’ve helped with painting and decorating at a local school, this summer we decided to get out in the fresh air and give our time to helping maintain the remarkable ecology at Saltwells."
“We had a brilliant day, very different from the normal 9 – 5 and we hope to be back in the future to help make a difference.”
Saltwells has an active and committed group of volunteers and a growing friend’s group who help to co-ordinate activity on the site. The wardens welcome corporate groups, such as the Lombard team to come down, work together on site, learn new skills and strengthen relationships within the team.
The 250 acre site has recently been recognised as a site of national importance by Natural England for its unique geology. An official announcement is expected in the autumn, with a public celebration event planned at the reserve.