This year, as part of our commitment to social and environmental responsibility,  we became corporate partners of both the Norfolk and Suffolk Wildlife Trusts.  There are so many ways to support the wonderful and important work of the Trusts, so we were delighted to be able to demonstrate ours by ‘getting stuck in’ at a Norfolk Wildlife Trust team volunteering day on Tuesday 22 June at New Buckenham Common!

Established in 1926 and the country's oldest wildlife trust, Norfolk Wildlife Trust regularly run these volunteer work parties, which provide an opportunity for sponsors to have a day of team building out of the office, whilst helping with conservation activities on one of their reserves.

With the relaxation of lockdown rules, the Trusts have been able to successfully start running these days again with smaller groups and our task for the day involved helping the Breckland Reserves team to clear ragwort weed at the Common. The various native flora in this area include some rare species such as the green-winged orchid, for which the Common is well known, but Ragwort’s poisonous qualities are harmful to the cattle which often graze there, so it’s vitally important to keep it under control.

Not only did this very enjoyable day out of the office gives some of our Norfolk-based colleagues the opportunity to enjoy the local countryside and learn new skills, it was also a chance to meet up with work mates that we hadn’t seen recently due to the pandemic, whilst pulling together as a team to help the environment and our local wildlife.

We arrived at New Buckenham Common for 9.30am and, following a welcome and safety briefing from Norfolk Wildlife Trust members, donned our gardening gloves and cracked on with the task in hand!  Luckily the rain held off and we spent the morning making good progress and sharing some team banter over a mid-morning pit stop for doughnuts and refreshments.  Plenty of ragwort was pulled up and we were all very ready for our packed lunches and a sit down before continuing until mid-afternoon clearing even more of the weed.

We eventually headed home a bit grubby and tired – but with a real sense of accomplishment having made a difference in our own small way to a little patch of our beautiful countryside and local wildlife.

You can read more about SGWM’s Corporate Social Responsibility Policy and how we are supporting the community here.

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