Ribena team help at nature reserve

PUBLISHED: 17:27 15 February 2010 | UPDATED: 14:56 20 February 2013

The Ribena team hard at work

The Ribena team hard at work

ONE of the Trust's nature reserves played host to visitors from one of the country's top food brands.

ONE of the Trust's nature reserves played host to visitors from one of the country's top food brands.
King's Meads Nature Reserve, between Hertford and Ware, is a 96-hectare system of ancient flood plain meadows and flooded ditches which is a valuable refuge for wildlife in the upper Lee Valley and was chosen as an ideal venue for representatives from Ribena to experience practical conservation at first hand. GlaxoSmithKline, which owns the Ribena brand, also owns part of the site,
so kindly offered their social club for the team briefings.
King's Meads comprises a number of ditches which are in fact parts of the original water course of the River Lea before the Lee navigation was built in the mid 18th century. They provide a vital home for water voles, dragonflies and the scarce water violet and must be regularly maintained. The Trust is also working to restore overgrown and silted up ditches to make them suitable for a diverse range of wetland wildlife. Guided by HMWT staff, the 21-strong group of Ribena employees got stuck into removing encroaching reedmace to increase the ditch edges.
Ribena has been working with the wildlife trusts across the country for more than four years and has been developing partnerships with their 40 British blackcurrant farmers to encourage wildlife friendly farming - benefiting barn owls, brown hares, bats and other species dependant on farm land. These aims fit extremely well alongside our national ambitions to develop corridors for wildlife to move between and to flourish within in the wider landscape.
We were delighted to show off a nature reserve that has become a local and regional success as a wildlife haven in the last few years, and it was a wonderful opportunity to take our partners from Ribena there to see for themselves the type of work the wildlife trusts are doing. Projects like this also prove that by working with strong partners in the commercial world, the wildlife trusts can become a well known household 'brand'- just like Ribena.

King's Meads Nature Reserve is managed by HMWT through a partnership of the Environment Agency, East Herts Council, GlaxoSmithKline, Thames Water and a private landowner.

Article taken from November issue of Hertfordshire Life

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