Wykeland Group and Yorkshire Wildlife Trust have agreed on a formal relationship for the management of an enhanced area of woodland, natural habitat and recreation at Melton West business park in East Yorkshire.
The partners have put in place a Management Agreement for the Trust to manage the existing 35-acre Long Plantation woodland with immediate effect as well as a new, nine-acre biodiversity corridor that will extend the green space within the eastern boundary of the site when this is established.
Wykeland, the owner and developer of Melton West, is to invest £1m to create the biodiversity corridor as part of major landscaping and ecological measures.
The Management Agreement will maintain and protect the Long Plantation, which features a section of the Wolds Way, as well as ensuring the expert management of the biodiversity corridor which is to be created directly adjacent to the tree belt.
It will ensure a thriving, sensitively maintained and fully protected green zone between development on the business park and the neighbouring village of North Ferriby.
Wykeland Property Director David Donkin said: “We have had a successful partnership with Yorkshire Wildlife Trust since 2012 to maintain and enhance the ecology and 1km woodland nature trail at our Bridgehead business park.
“That relationship has been an outstanding success in managing and maintaining natural environments that are valued by local residents and employees alike and has also involved a series of innovative outdoor art projects working with local schools.
“After two years of collaboration, we’re now delighted to extend this partnership to Melton West, with Yorkshire Wildlife Trust taking on responsibility for managing Long Plantation and the biodiversity corridor that we will create.
“Our aim is to set a best practice standard for how sustainable development can support ecological enhancements and co-exist with areas of natural habitat.
“As experts in the sensitive maintenance of wildlife areas, the Trust is best placed to proactively manage and protect an environment for nature to thrive and people to enjoy.”
Yorkshire Wildlife Trust is a charity dedicated to conserving, protecting and restoring wildlife and wild places across the county.
The Trust looks after more than 100 nature reserves across Yorkshire and is involved in hundreds of conservation-related projects. The charity inspires thousands of children, families and individuals every year – helping them to connect with their local wildlife through events and engagement programmes.
The Trust’s East Regional Manager, David Craven, said: “We are looking forward to taking on Long Plantation and the biodiversity corridor, and working with the Melton and North Ferriby communities to identify what is best for this popular woodland.
“As always, our aim is to enhance existing habitat, while simultaneously creating new opportunities to encourage more wildlife to the area. We see this as a long-term relationship that will bring great benefits to the both people and wildlife who make their homes alongside the Humber.”
Long Plantation will continue to be fully accessible to the public, as will the new biodiversity corridor, creating an expanded area for local residents and employees at Melton West to use for recreation and to appreciate the natural environment.
The Trust will encourage local residents to be actively involved in management of the green spaces and will carry out public engagement events. The Trust will also use the area as an outdoor educational facility, supporting trainees and volunteers to learn new skills.
The new, dedicated area of natural habitat will feature four interlinked acoustic bunds, a new 1km footpath with interpretive signage, connecting through to the Wolds Way, and extensive new planting.