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ID:	54441 The award-winning Davies Veterinary Specialists (Davies) Green Group team are taking their sustainability commitment to the next level with some compelling local biodiversity projects, including a wildlife camera trap and bee-friendly planting, to the building of bug hotels and a community litter pick.
The Hertfordshire-based small animal referral practice, which is a part of the Linnaeus Group, is embracing biodiversity as part of on its ongoing sustainability journey in 2021.
“We have come up with some great biodiversity projects which we hope will captivate and inspire others both within the industry and within our local communities,” said Davies Green Group coordinator Rachel Evans. “Initiatives such as our wildlife camera trap, which has captured some superb footage of wild birds and mammals, are a great way to help spread the word about the many ways sustainability can be embraced.”
Biodiversity projects underway at Davies during 2021 include:
  • Installation of a wildlife camera trap: Footage is already enabling the identification of local wildlife, including deer, rabbits, foxes, mice and partridges and will help support projects to protect specific species in the future, both onsite and in the local area.
  • Building a bug hotel: Rebecca Stevens who is a patient care assistant at Davies is using reclaimed materials to create an ideal environment for bugs. Once complete the 'hotel' will be placed in a shady spot and filled with 'bug bedding' such as leaf litter, twigs, earth and hollow bamboo to improve habitat for onsite insects and protect populations. This is an important biodiversity step since many insects contribute to pollination but are in decline.
  • Bee-friendly planting: Rebecca, together with vet nurse Ali Skelton are championing bee-friendly and drought-resistant onsite planting to improve habitats for pollinators and reduce water usage. They are also managing the use of water butts to reduce onsite water usage and have built some planters from reclaimed materials.
  • Installation of Barn Owl box: Maintenance team member Danny Baylis installed the box in a disused barn last year. It may take some time but once the box is an established part of the environment, it is hoped that a nesting pair will take up residence.
  • Wildlife and habitat surveys: The results of a recent bird survey will be published internally in the summer and wildflower and bat surveys are planned for later in the year. The surveys will help identify local flora and fauna needing protection and provide information to direct future biodiversity projects.
  • DIY for Wildlife: Via the internal Davies Green Group newsletter the team is inspiring colleagues to build bird boxes, bug hotels and bird baths for their own gardens of local communities.
  • Litter pick: Julien Bazelle, small animal internal medicine specialist at Davies, is coordinating a local litter pick and encouraging colleagues to take part, to draw attention to the importance of protecting local habitats for wildlife and visitors.
Davies achieved a first for the veterinary profession in 2020 by winning the Investors in the Environment (iiE) Sustainability Influencer Business of the Year. Davies’ green pioneer Ellie West was also recognised as Sustainability Influencer Individual of the Year 2020. Davies also holds Green level accreditation from Investors in iiE, which is the highest level awarded.
“Biodiversity is a natural next step on our sustainability journey,” said Rachel. “We hope our new projects will not only have a positive impact on our surrounding environment but will also inspire others within the profession to embark on similar schemes. By sharing ideas and working together as a profession we can make an even bigger impact on supporting our planet in sustainable ways.”
You can get in touch with the Davies Green Group at sustainability@vetspecialists.co.uk . To find out more about Davies’ sustainability initiatives please visit https://vetspecialists.co.uk/sustainability/

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ID:	54442 Julien Bazelle, litter picking