Nelson's Wharf is adjacent to the ten acre Stockton Cutting Site of Special Scientific Interest, (SSSI), of which approximately seven acres is on Nelson's land. The SSSI is managed on our behalf by the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust and Butterfly Conservation.
Willow Wren Training has always been as environmentally friendly as possible by the use of eco friendly cleaning products, formaldehyde-free toilet fluid and recycling as much as we can. One thing we were never really proud of was the old 1970's concrete training centre heated by an ancient diesel fuelled boiler at Rugby Wharf.
The new training centre however is extremely well insulated and heated by a ground source heat pump system which in turn is partially powered by PV solar panels. The building itself is relatively carbon neutral and made predominantly from sustainable timber including the Western Red Cedar cladding.
We decided to create a wildflower meadow behind the training centre in 2014 using a seed mix made up to a special recipe which matches the natural flowers on this soil in this region. It cost hundreds of pounds for a 25kg bag but it has paid off. We now have a natural meadow which has been inhabited by the Common Blue butterfly. The butterfly isn't very rare but it is the fact that it has populated the area so quickly that makes it significant especially in an area that was chest high with brambles and nettles a couple of years ago.
The photo on the right was taken in the meadow during August 2014. The butterfly was only one inch, 25mm, across. The latest survey shows numbers of the scarce Small Blue, Dingy Skipper and Grizzled Skipper on Nelson's land.
We are naturally proud of our ecology policy. Along with ground plants, we have now planted over 1000 trees and shrubs and more are planned over the next few years.