UPM Tilhill helps enhance wildlife at Howard Park and Gardens

Archive 18.5.2011 17:00 EEST

(UPM Tilhill, North Hertforshire, 18 May 2011)  – UPM Tilhill has supplied timber for 30 bat and bird boxes as part of the restoration and ecology work at a park in Letchworth, Hertfordshire.

The company’s Ecologist Andrea Gannon is working closely with north Hertfordshire District Council who are responsible for Howard Park and Gardens, community group Groundwork Hertfordshire and local school children to improve the habitat for bats and birds and provide homes where they can breed safely.

Andrea, one of UPM Tilhill's team of fully qualified ecologists, is called upon to survey and monitor species in a range of different scenarios. At Howard Park and Gardens, as well as bats and birds, Andrea is making sure that the population of rare black squirrels living in the park is looked after and that any tree work takes their needs into account.

Andrea said: “Making the bird and bat boxes has turned into a real community project. As part of the work we’ve also sought expert advice from bat specialists to make sure the timber is suitable as bats are quite particular.

“As with every project UPM Tilhill is involved with, ecology is a top priority whether it’s protecting particular species of birds, endangered squirrels, bats, dormice or great crested newts. Howard Park is a great example of a site where there is a diverse range of wildlife living in an area that has large amounts of people visiting and using it for recreation.”

Parks Champion, Sally Everett who led the project, added: “This has been a great partnership project. Local children have been building the bird and bat boxes and the next step is to get the children and local community groups to help us fit the boxes.”

Howard Park was created more than 100 years ago as a central part of the pioneering urban experiment to create the world’s first garden city. Due to be completed in Autumn 2011, UPM Tilhill’s work involves hard and soft landscaping to preserve the historic importance of the site, as well as new elements that will broaden the use of the park.

Work includes refurbishing a paddling pool, creating improved play areas and building new routes through and around the park. A reproduction statue of Sappho will also be installed to replace the original stolen several years ago.

As well as the landscaping, the UPM Tilhill team is responsible for all construction, mechanical and electrical elements of the project. Funding for the £2.7 million scheme has come largely from the Parks for People programme funded by Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund. The project will conserve the historic importance of the park and gardens and aims to increase the range of people using the park.

Pix Brook, a stream running alongside the park, now has a new bridge built and new facilities are being introduced for visitors, including a kiosk for refreshments and new, modern toilets.

For full details of the plans, look on the NHDC website www.north-herts.gov.uk

Note to editors:  For more information contact PR Consultant Suzi Christie on 01435 830031 or Sally Everett on 07825 896789 or email sally.everett@north-herts.gov.uk.
UPM Tilhill is the UK’s largest timber harvesting and forest management company.  It harvests and markets over 2.0 million tonnes out of a UK market in excess of 8 million tonnes per year. The company provides a full range of consultancy and contracting services to the forest owner and forestry investor. It also provides market leading services in utility arboriculture and commercial landscaping throughout the UK.  Further information is available on the company’s website at www.upm-tilhill.com
UPM Tilhill’s management of environmental issues is compliant with the ISO 14001 standard. It is the only forestry company in the UK to employ a full-time ecologist to advise on environmental matters.
UPM Tilhill has been working on environmentally-sensitive sites for many years, including Sites of Special Scientific Interest for English Nature, Countryside Council for Wales, and Scottish Natural Heritage.