Derbyshire Wildlife Trust

Formed in 1962 as Derbyshire Naturalists' Trust, the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust (DWT) is one of 47 local Trusts around the UK working to promote and care for the natural environment and raise awareness of wildlife across Derbyshire and beyond. They are the only organization in Derbyshire working to protect all wildlife throughout the county. They manage 43 nature reserves, including moorland, wetlands, woodlands and wildflower meadows and have 14,000 members and 500 volunteers supporting their work and the county.

In harmony with our natural surroundings

TMUK is a corporate member of the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust (DWT) and work together on a number of projects. Our aim at all times is to be ‘in harmony with our natural surroundings’.

TMUK was the first business to sign up to DWT’s ‘Transforming the Trent Valley’ initiative. The initiative aims to encourage businesses and landowners to commit to preserving or restoring wildlife habitats on their land.  TMUK was recognised for the hard work involved in setting up their own wildlife site.  The DWT have led the project in regenerating and maintaining the wetland area around the bala

Toyota’s Green Grid

The “Green Grid” aims to increase biodiversity on our site and provide pathways across the site instead of presenting a barrier.

Since initially being commissioned to survey the wildlife interest around our Burnaston facility in 2004, we have enjoyed a long and successful involvement with Derbyshire Wildlife Trust.  Their Biodiversity Planning Officer shares the impact which our habitat creation scheme has had on biodiversity around our site.

Their initial surveys focussed on two areas of the site created as storage areas for surface water as part of the landscaping scheme when the site was built in 1990. These are made up of a range of habitats including open water, reed beds, plantation woodland, species-rich grassland and marshy grassland.

They have continued to carry out surveys of the site and monitor the significant wildlife interest which has developed over the years. To date, 184 different species of plants have now been recorded on the site including two Derbyshire Red Data Book species (blunt-fruited water starwort and grass vetchling) along with 65 different bird species. These include seven priority species; bullfinch, reed bunting, marsh tit, song thrush, dunnock, lesser redpoll and starling. 20 different butterfly species have also been recorded on the site.

Overall, the Toyota site provides one of the finest examples of habitat creation as part of development that you are likely to encounter in the whole of the UK and their long-term commitment to its management for nature conservation makes it even more special.

In 2013, DWT became involved in our Green Grid initiative to extend the wildlife interest across the entire Toyota site by creating wildlife corridors and establishing links between the habitats created within the factory area, and the wildlife-rich habitats on the perimeter of our land.

At the beginning, the area was made up of large areas of regularly close-mown amenity grassland with little biodiversity value. Since 2013 an area of 1.3 hectares has been turned into part of the Green Grid, and it’s now made up of a mixture of habitats including wildflower-rich grassland, mixed native species hedgerows, single species hornbeam hedgerows, mini-woods of silver birch and areas of retained grassland that are now subject to traditional hay meadow management.

DWT conducted baseline surveys at the start of the project so they could assess whether the creation of the Green Grid resulted in an increase in biodiversity over time. They now carry out a series of standardised transect surveys on an annual basis with a particular focus on recording changes in bumblebee and butterfly numbers, with the results submitted to the relevant national recording scheme. This means changes in biodiversity can be measured and compared from year to year as the habitats become more established and managed more appropriately for the benefit of biodiversity.

Over just three years, transect surveys along the Grid have recorded a significant and measurable increase in bumblebee and butterfly numbers. In 2016, seven different bumblebee species were recorded including the red-tailed bumblebee, the common carder bee, white-tailed bumblebee, buff-tail bumblebee, garden bumblebee, early bumblebee and the tree bumblebee. There was a dramatic increase in the number of individual bumblebees too; 321 individuals recorded compared with 88 in 2015. This compares with 25 in 2014 and just two in 2013 before the Grid was established. We also found 19 different species of butterfly!

Their transect surveys confirm that the level of bumblebee and butterfly interest continues to increase with the establishment of the Green Grid network and the implementation of favourable nature conservation management.

It’s valuable evidence which demonstrates just how important wildflower-rich habitats are for our pollinators, and what a difference the creation and restoration of wildlife corridors can make.

For more information, please visit the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust website.

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