Severn Trent steps up its work tackling nature loss and climate change

10th July 2023


Severn Trent has announced it will double its biodiversity commitment across its region as part of its pledge to protect the local environment and tackle the threat of nature loss.  The announcement comes as Severn Trent scoops a prestigious environmental award for its work with the Moors for the Future Partnership (MFFP) to restore peatland in the Peak District.

The new target builds on bold ambitions announced three years ago as part of the Great Big Nature Boost, with the water company pledging to plant 1.3 million trees, improve 2,100km of waterways and enhance the biodiversity of 5,000 hectares of habitat.  Severn Trent has expanded and accelerated its commitment to improving and enhancing biodiversity by increasing its goal to 10,000 hectares by 2025 – as it recently confirmed that it had already hit the 5,000-hectare target - two years earlier than planned.

The Midlands-based FTSE100 business has been working with an array of ENGO partners on projects that help the natural environment, reduce future flooding and improve water quality.  One such partnership won the highly coveted Climate and Nature Action accolade at the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) awards, for its Moor Water project, which has committed to plant over 600 hectares of sphagnum moss – equivalent to 800 football pitches – in the Upper Derwent valley by 2025.

Graham Osborn, Principal Ecologist and Biodiversity Team Lead at Severn Trent, said: “We are delighted to have won a Climate and Nature Action award and be recognised by our peers for our valuable work to restore moorlands.

“These awards reinforce the passion we have at Severn Trent working on exciting projects that are truly doing the best for nature, the environment, our water and protecting and restoring it all for future generations.”

The MFFP ‘Bogtastic’ van has been communicating the importance of peatbogs to the public, engaging 14,000 people over 50 events. By 2025, it will have hosted a further 30 Moor Water events on Severn Trent sites.  Public engagement will also continue through the installation of an information panel and fixed-point photography posts so that members of the public can help monitor the sites restored.

Younger people have also been included in the project with school visits to specific locations where restoration has been carried out. The aim is to help school children learn how to reduce the risk of wildfires, the importance of peatlands, and the benefit of restoration.

At the CIEEM awards, Severn Trent was also highly commended in the Best Practice Large-Scale Practical Nature Conservation award and commended in the NGO impact category for its work with Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust at Idle Valley Nature Reserve and other sites.

The Idle Valley Nature Reserve is the largest site cared for by Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust. The scale of the reserve has long presented the Trust with a real challenge in terms of controlling scrubs encroachment in areas of reedbed and wet grassland - leading to degradation and loss of habitat for wading birds and waterfowl.

Since 2020, Severn Trent funding has enabled Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust to deliver a transformational or transformative habitat management programme across more than 260 hectares of the site including targeted habitat enhancements for key species including turtle dove, and the reintroduction of beavers.

The CIEEM awards recognise individuals or organisations who are having the most impact in raising awareness, engaging others and/or leading action in relation to the climate emergency and/or the biodiversity crisis.

The Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM) is the leading professional membership body representing and supporting ecologists and environmental managers in the UK, Ireland and abroad.