Business Bird Challenge launched

SUFFOLK Coastal MP John Gummer has launched the 2008 Business Bird Challenge - which seeks to encourage companies to protect and enhance the wildlife value of their land.

By David Green

SUFFOLK Coastal MP John Gummer has launched the 2008 Business Bird Challenge - which seeks to encourage companies to protect and enhance the wildlife value of their land.

The launch took place at British Energy's Sizewell site where, adjacent to the nuclear power stations, there is a thriving nature reserve and 12 miles of public and “permissive” paths.

British Energy, a previous winner, is sponsoring this year's competition which is organised by the Thetford-based British Trust for Ornithology.

The competition, founded in 1994, recognises the sensitive management of areas of business-owned land across the country, management which is reflected in the diversity and remarkable number of bird species using such sites.

It provides an opportunity for the commercial and industrial sectors to publicise their conservation efforts and the flourishing partnerships that exist within local communities, and “benchmark” their initiatives against those taking place at other commercial sites throughout the UK.

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British Energy owns and operates eight nuclear power stations, and a coal-fired power station, which have all taken an active part in the BTO Challenge for a number of years.

Mr Gummer said at the launch that the competition was an opportunity for companies to participate in conservation and share ideas and experience.

“With climate change currently at the forefront of environmental action by industry, it is important for us to acknowledge that for years many companies have been putting great efforts into maintaining and enhancing the conservation value of their own landholdings,” he said.

Dr Nick Carter, BTO director of development, said: “BTO Business Bird Challenge brings together industry and commerce with the environment sector. Awards enable business effort to be rewarded, and recognize the wonderfully rich and varied wildlife sites that can result from business success.”

Brian Dowds , Sizewell B station director, said: “Sizewell B sits on one of the most picturesque stretches of coastline in Britain, and as a company it is important we do not lose sight of the responsibility we have in protecting the environment around us. The BTO - British Energy Business Bird Challenge is one of many ways we can maintain the balance between the heavy industry of generating electricity via nuclear power, and the diversity of nature and wildlife living beside our site.”

david.green@eadt.co.uk