Wonderful on Tap

Our Great Big Nature Boost

We think nature is amazing, and water is wonderful. 

Helping nature and supporting communities in our region

As part of our Great Big Nature Boost project, we’re now going to be partnering with the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games as their Nature and Carbon Neutral Supporter to boost nature in urban areas, encourage wellbeing in our communities and help to create the first ever Carbon Neutral Commonwealth Games!  Find out more on how we're leaving a lasting legacy.

Looking after our water means looking after nature too

Our Great Big Nature Boost - our biggest ever project - will give nature a massive boost across our region, we’re going to be:

Planting 1.3 million trees

Reviving 12,000 acres of land

Restoring over 2,000km of rivers

What’s good for nature is great for your water!

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

Making a positive difference to the communities and environment we live and work in.

Nature and Carbon Neutral Supporter

We’re excited to announce that we have partnered with the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games as their Nature and Carbon Neutral Supporter.

As part of our biggest ever nature project, our Great Big Nature Boost, we’re helping to make Birmingham 2022 the first ever carbon neutral Commonwealth Games.

We’ll be helping achieve this through two fantastic projects.

Carbon offsetting

Working closely with the Forestry Commission for guidance, we are using the UK woodland code methodology to calculate and validate the offset of the residual carbon emissions of the Games in order to create a long-term legacy that would offset the Games to make them carbon neutral.

Accreditation will be completed once the trees have been planted.

Funding the partnership

Customer bills will not rise to fund this partnership project.

Any increase in customer bills is part of the annual pricing review which is controlled and agreed by Ofwat.

You can download our scheme of charges [PDF] for a full explanation of how household bills are calculated for 2021 to 2022.

The size of our Great Big Nature Boost

We’ve committed to boosting nature across 12,000 acres of land in the Severn Trent region by 2027 - that’s an area bigger than Gloucester!
We'll also be helping to care for over 2,000km of rivers, because we know the health of our river’s natural environment and the quality of our natural water go hand in hand.
 

The nature boosting we’re doing

So far, we have planted 280,000 trees and revived over 5,000 acres of land (that’s around 2,500 football pitches!) and we’re well on track to improving 2100 km rivers through our many projects – like working with farmers to keep crop pesticides out of our natural water sources, such as rivers.

Planting over 1.3m trees

Trees not only provide homes for our incredible native wildlife, they contribute to natural flood management, and they help remove carbon from the environment

Creating wildflower meadows 

Wildflower meadows encourage beneficial insects and birds, which are natural predators of pests that would otherwise damage farmers’ crops. Farmers then use less pesticides, reducing the risk of chemicals running into local rivers.

Restoring moorland 

We’re restoring moorland in the upper Peak District. The moors provide important habitats for some truly amazing bird species such as curlew and skylark. Healthy moorland also helps to make soil less prone to erosion and reduces the impact of flooding along rivers and streams.

Restoring bog and peatland

Healthy peatbogs trap and store millions of tonnes of carbon and absorb vast quantities of water, acting like big sponges. In many places, peat has been drained, dried out, and exposed to the elements. This releases carbon back into the atmosphere and allows sediment to be washed into watercourses. With restoration we can re-wet and reset the system.

Our partners and projects

We will continue to work with some of the most prominent nature protectors to deliver a number of nature boosting projects, including:

 

Covering 200 square miles of the Midlands, The National Forest is one of the UK’s most ambitious environmental projects.  

Nearly nine million trees have been planted so far, increasing woodland cover from an initial six per cent to over 21%, now more than double the national average.

No multi-purpose forest on this scale has been created in the UK for one thousand years, bringing all the benefits of trees and woodlands to its communities, the wildlife and the economy.

Everyone can help create this Forest. There are schemes large and small to help people plant trees and individuals can dedicate a tree.

We’ll work with the National Forest, who run a grant scheme for landowners to enhance their woodland habitats.

We’re also helping to support and provide grants for schools to engage students to make biodiversity enhancements within their school grounds and developing their connection with nature.

Started in 2003, the Moors for the Future Partnership works to protect the most degraded landscape in Europe.

Using innovative conservation techniques, it has transformed over 34 square kilometres of bare and degraded peat bogs in the Peak District National Park and South Pennines.

A monitoring programme provides evidence of the effectiveness of these techniques and is backed up by innovative communications that inspire people to care for these special places.

The work of the Partnership is delivered by the Peak District National Park Authority as the lead and accountable body. It is supported through its partners including Severn Trent.

From 202 to 2025, we will continue to work in the Upper Derwent Valley of the Peak District, where we will be improving moorland and restoring peat bogs.

This work will help with flood prevention from storm waters and keep valuable soils on the moorland instead of washing away into valleys and reservoirs below, which means less soil for us to remove from the water in the treatment process.

The RSPB is the UK’s largest nature conservation charity, inspiring everyone to give nature a home.

Together with our partners, we protect threatened birds and wildlife so our towns, coast and countryside will teem with life once again.

We play a leading role in BirdLife International, a worldwide partnership of nature conservation organisations.

We’ll work with the RSPB in Sherwood Forest to improve and preserve some of the beautiful ancient woodland, helping groundwater to be naturally filtered through sandstone aquifers and into boreholes for extracting. This amazing work will protect vital water supplies for the future whilst also improving water quality.

The Wildlife Trusts is a grassroots movement of people from a wide range of backgrounds and walks of life, who believe that we need nature and nature needs them. 

They have more than 850,000 members, 38,000 volunteers, 2,000 staff and 600 trustees. They are made up of 46 independent charities, each formed by people getting together to make a positive difference to wildlife and future generations, starting where they live.

We’re working with many regional Wildlife Trust’s on enhancing and creating habitats on over 980 acres within Warwickshire and Nottinghamshire.

Work will include rewilding, creating new woodlands, building wetlands, and planting new hedgerows as well as ensuring wildflower meadows and wild grasses can thrive.

And we’re working closely with the Trusts on two projects to help reintroduce beavers in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.

We dream of wild, healthy, natural rivers valued by all. Yet, currently only 14% of rivers in England are at good ecological status and have been declining over recent years.

The Rivers Trust is the umbrella organisation for 60 local member Trusts, who are the only group of environmental charities in the UK and Ireland, dedicated to protecting and improving rivers for people and wildlife.

They provide expert assistance and advice to help us get a number of wetlands projects up and running.

Wetlands provide a nature-based solution to keep too many nutrients out of water, which means we have to clean it less, which improves your water quality too! Not only that they help reduce risks from flooding and provide a home to many species of wildlife.

One of the most well-known charities in the country, The National Trust cares for places of historical interest and or natural beauty.

We’re working with the National Trust in the High Peak Moors to re-plant and regenerate moorland cloughs (woodlands on the edge of open moorland), panting native broadleaf trees to provide landscape and wildlife benefits.

We’re also working together to create over 300 acres of woodland by planting over 11,000 trees.

We’re protecting your water supply too!

Caring for nature has never been more important, especially with global threats of both climate change and the destruction of natural habitats, caused by human demand and increasing population.

Protecting nature and helping to stop climate change go hand in hand, because as humans, we rely on nature to provide some of our best protection against climate change, like extremes of temperature, rainfall or even drought. But climate change has a damaging effect on nature too, meaning it can’t always protect us.

While these challenges are global, we’ll take action in our own region.

  • We’ve made this commitment to care for and replenish nature because the natural environment is part of our supply chain and a vital partner to our reservoirs and supplying our water.  Taking care of it is important so that we can ensure that your water supply is always there.
  • Committing to net zero carbon emissions from our operations by 2030 to minimise our impacts on pollution – one of the main contributors of climate change. And the great thing is we’re confident we can achieve this, because the improvements we’ll be making to our water’s quality through helping nature, means less energy is needed during our treatment process.

How you can get involved in the Great Big Nature Boost

Tiny forests for schools

We’d love to work with schools in the West Midlands, planting some of our 72 tiny forests in playgrounds and sports fields for future generations to enjoy. If you’d like to help, please talk to your teachers and school administrators about our Commonwealth legacy forests. Interested schools can register land for tree planting and our expert team will be in touch.

Run your own nature project with our grant scheme

From schools and businesses to local conservations group, if you have a nature project that needs a boost, see if you can apply for our Boost for Biodiversity grant.

As well as working with our key partners to deliver some of our greatest environmental ambitions, 

We love to support lots of small projects, and the passionate people behind them, that truly make a positive difference to our region’s wonderful habitats and wildlife.

Learn how to care for nature at home

You can take some small steps to help nature. 

Whether you have a large or small outdoor space, there are lots of things you can do to give nature a home, from growing flowers to feeding birds. 

Here are some tips from our nature partners.

 

Make a bird feeder

Attract all kinds of wonderful birds into your garden and give our feathery friends the food energy they need! High-energy (high-fat) foods are great. 

Here are two types you can try:

 

A super simple apple feeder (RSPB)

Create a fat cake (National Trust)

Make a bug mansion (Wildlife Trusts)

An average garden accommodates more than 2,000 different species of insect! 

Very few of these creatures cause significant damage to our prized plants, and there are many more insects that actually help us to control the ones that do! 

By providing the right habitats we can greatly increase the number of ‘beneficial’ insects in the garden.

One way to increase the comfort of your patch for insects is to build them a bug mansion.

To build a bug mansion, you’ll need:

  • Wooden pallets
  • Dead wood
  • Stones and tiles

Make your bug mansion

  1. The basic framework is made of wooden pallets. Try to use recycled or reclaimed materials where you can.
  2. Place the bottom pallet upside down. This should create larger openings at the ends, which can be also be used for a hedgehog house. 
  3. Stack the pallets on top of each other. The mansion doesn’t need to be higher than five pallets.
  4. Although the structure should be stable, you might want to secure each pallet to the one below.

 

Make a mini homemade pond (Wildlife Trusts)

Water brings a magical quality to your garden and is the key to life for so many creatures that live in it.

Mini ponds are a fantastic addition to any garden and a great way to give nature – such as frogs and insects like Dragonflies a home.

You can use a washing up bowl, a bucket or plant pot as the base of your pond, once you have that you’re ready.

  1. Choose a spot. Your pond will want light, but not full sunlight all day. You can dig a hole and sink your container, or just have it sitting on top.
  2. If the container isn’t watertight, e.g. an old plant pot, then add a piece of pond liner.
  3. Add a layer of gravel and rocks inside. Use logs or stones to create a range of depths outside and a slope for creatures to climb in and out. If your container isn’t sunk in you’ll need a ramp from the ground outside the pond.
  4. Fill your pond – use rainwater, not tap water.
  5. Start planting! You only need one or two plants. 

Great plants for small ponds include:

  • Miniature waterlily
  • Lesser spearwort
  • Starwort
  • Flowering rush 

Now watch and wait! Wildlife will come to your pond of its own accord. Don’t introduce frogs, fish or even water from another pond as this can spread disease.

Make sure that wildlife can get in and out, by using bricks rocks or logs to create stepping stones in and out of the pond.

It is vital that the pond is not a trap for creature such as hedgehogs.

Our Great Big Nature Boost spring photo competition  

See the winning photos   

Kids nature activities

Whatever kind of outdoor space you have nearby, nurture their love for nature.

New activities available.

Care for nature and capture carbon at the same time

By caring for nature we can also reduce carbon too.

Here are some top tips for reducing carbon at home:

Plant more trees and shrubs

Trees and shrubs are an important part of helping to balance the environment.

As they grow, they take in carbon dioxide and, as a result of photosynthesis and release it back into the world as oxygen.

What’s even more amazing, is that trees also help soil to capture carbon! 

So if you’ve got a bit of space in your garden why not add some shrubs or even a tree and help continue this wonderful cycle.

Even the smallest amount of green space can help make a difference so if you don’t have a garden, a window box or planters are great alternatives. 

Save water in the garden

Climate change affects the weather. It also has an impact on when rain falls, how much of it we get and how often. Climate change has an impact on how much water we all use too.

You can make a difference and help to conserve water.

Caring for nature at our visitor sites