Partnership NE
Rebecca Wayman

Three North East companies go green in new partnership for Gateshead distribution centre

Follingsby International Enterprise Park Limited has entered into a long-term contract with Durham Wildlife Trust (DWT) and WL Straughan to maintain and develop the Green Infrastructure zone at Follingsby Max.

DWT is running social engagements with local schools and colleges to promote the site, and showcase what can be achieved if the developer values the green aspects of their sites. DWT works to restore and recreate areas of habitat over a period of many years, with the cumulative effect of restoring landscapes where wildlife can thrive on a wider scale.

WL Straughan has begun the creation of four ponds to the conservation area including excavating/shaping, installation of clay liner and planting of surrounding areas to encourage new habitat. Further work on the boundary fencing which includes the specialist newt barriers has been completed this summer.

WL Straughan will manage the overall maintenance and enrichment including further planting of the green infrastructure zone to encourage wildlife and ensure the aspirations of FIEPL are achieved.

The site has already benefited from the restoration of the River Don and the naturalisation of over a kilometre of river using specialist restoration techniques together with a variety of additional environmental improvements.

Speaking about the collaboration, Dave Price, operations director from Highgrove, said: “From the initial discussions with Gateshead Council and various stakeholders we were keen to bring forward a new vision for developing a site out of greenbelt.

“Consideration for the wildlife and the existing landscape was key in planning how we could introduce the ecology zone. The scheme has already seen the naturalisation of over a kilometre of The River Don using specialist restoration techniques together with a variety of environmental improvements.

“We have seen 22,000 new trees and shrubs planted on the new 30 acre green infrastructure zone, helping to restore the habitat and ecology not just for the site but to benefit the wider area.”

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