Welsh Government

Leading environmentalist launches networking event

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Professor Chris Baines, one of the UK’s leading independent environmentalists and Vice President of the Wildlife Trusts, launched the new Wrexham Business Environment Network on Wrexham Industrial Estate on 9th February.

With an audience of more than 50 people from over 30 organisations across the Wrexham area, Professor Baines outlined the business case for preserving nature on our doorsteps.

He commented: “This Industrial Estate is one of the largest in Europe but amazingly it also contains an important network of wildlife habitats that support a diverse range of wildlife. Important species found here include water vole, otter, various bat species, Grizzled Skipper and Dingy Skipper butterflies, great crested newt, barn owl and kingfisher. Lapwings are even nesting on the roof tops of industrial units.”

Makena Lohr, of the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare also spoke at the event explaining how green spaces can improve workplace wellbeing and showcasing the NHS Forest project that is gaining momentum across the UK: “There is a wealth of evidence linking green spaces with better health and wellbeing. The NHS Forest works with healthcare organisations to open up their green spaces to local communities and to promote better use of the natural environment by staff and patients.”

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On a more local level, Jonathan Hulson from the North Wales Wildlife Trust (NWWT) told the audience about the Wrexham Industrial Estate Living Landscapes Project: “The Wrexham Industrial Estate offers a great opportunity to properly integrate business, industry and people with wildlife in a working landscape and has the potential to become an exemplar site for the successful integration of the three pillars of sustainable development: Social, Economic and Environment and could help place Wales at the forefront of such sustainable development within Europe.”

Kieran Foody, Environmental Manager at Rowan Foods on the industrial estate explained how their company has benefitted from working with NWWT on the project and Ed Lawrance of United Utilities outlined the support available for businesses to help them protect water quality.

This new networking group has been set up by Wrexham County Borough Council’s Business & Investment Team in partnership with the North Wales Wildlife Trust and has received funding for this project through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.

The next event will be taking place in September for more information on this and other business networks taking place across Wrexham please contact the Business & Investment Team on 01978 667300 or email business@wrexham.gov.uk

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