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Rewilding with OUTCO offers businesses a compelling opportunity to redefine their relationship with their outdoor estate

Rewilding Your Workplace: Easy Ways To Welcome Nature Back

Rewilding your workplace with OUTCO offers businesses a compelling opportunity to redefine their relationship with their outdoor estate. By proactively fostering natural processes and restoring natural habitats on a portion of your outdoor estate, we can help you create thriving ecosystems that bolster biodiversity, enhance employee well-being, and demonstrate a tangible commitment to sustainability.

When thinking about grounds maintenance this summer, why not think bigger, why not explore ways to welcome nature back into your outdoor estate? For a business premise imagine this: a former manicured lawn transformed into a vibrant wildflower meadow buzzing with bees and butterflies. Pockets of native shrubs offer havens for small birds, while a strategically placed log pile provides shelter for hedgehogs. A naturalised stream meanders through the space, attracting dragonflies and damselflies. Employees enjoy this tranquil space during breaks, connecting with nature and appreciating the increased biodiversity on their company grounds. All at a fraction of the maintenance effort and expense that a fully manicured lawn requires – what’s not to like?

What is Rewilding?

Rewilding prioritises the restoration of natural plants and animals that belong there naturally rather than artificially imposing human-designed contrived landscapes by buying in and maintaining plants and species from different climates and soils. Instead of the maintenance required of a formally manicured garden which is horticulturally and geographically unnatural, the focus is on allowing nature, and the existing landscape and species, to guide the way. Strategic human intervention is key, but only to gently steer the ecosystem towards balance and self-sufficiency.

By restoring such natural interactions and plant and animal populations, rewilding leads to a flourishing of biodiversity. It fosters a more diverse and robust habitat, attracting a wider spectrum of life, from insects and birds all the way up to larger mammals – all species that belong there because the foodstuffs (ie plants) that their young depend on are also there. This process often involves a collaborative approach, working with the existing resources of a landscape – strategically removing invasive species and supporting the return of native plants and animals that once thrived in the region.

The Knepp Estate in England is the most prominent example of a successful rewilding project in the UK. Rewilding has created a mosaic of habitats and led to a remarkable comeback of biodiversity. Endangered species such as nightingales and purple emperor butterflies have thrived, showcasing the potential of rewilding for restoring ecosystems.

The Business Benefits of Rewilding

  • Improved Workplace Environment and Employee Well-Being: Research demonstrates that access to nature reduces stress, enhances cognitive function, and improves the overall workplace experience. Incorporating rewilding elements creates outdoor spaces conducive to relaxation and revitalisation for your team.
  • Leadership in Land Management: Rewilding projects underscore a company’s commitment to environmental stewardship. Such initiatives garner positive recognition from conservation bodies and resonate with clients and communities in an era of heightened ecological awareness.
  • Alignment with Sustainability Targets: Strategically planned rewilding initiatives can contribute significantly towards achieving environmental certifications and bolster a corporate sustainability profile.
  • Enhanced Ecosystem Services: Rewilding projects cultivate robust natural systems that provide invaluable benefits. Native flora attracts pollinators, supports local wildlife, and contributes to soil enrichment. These systems offer natural flood mitigation, rainwater management, and enhanced carbon sequestration.

Business Rewilding Projects: Practical Examples

Businesses with a suitable outdoor estate can undertake a range of rewilding projects, tailored to their specific landscape and organisational objectives.

Pollinator-Friendly Meadows and Borders

Replacing manicured lawns with swathes of vibrant wildflowers is a visually striking rewilding act. Native wildflowers selected for staggered bloom times provide vital nectar and pollen sources crucial for sustaining vulnerable bee and butterfly populations. Border plantings featuring these same plants create a clear visual transition and offer pollinator habitat even within more traditional areas of the landscape. These efforts make a tangible contribution to local pollinator health.

Nestboxes for the Birds and the Bats

Adding nest boxes to a rewilded space offers a valuable boost to bird and bat populations, especially in areas where natural nesting cavities might be scarce. Strategically placed nest boxes, designed for different bird and bat species, create inviting homes for residents. Choose boxes constructed of durable, natural materials like wood, and position them at varying heights and orientations to cater to the preferences of a range of species. Nest boxes become a hub of activity during the breeding season, offering a window into bird life cycles and enhancing the vibrancy of the rewilded space, and for bats, they become an all-year long forever home.

Wetland Creation

Constructing ponds with varied depths and naturalised edges attracts amphibians, dragonflies, and abundant aquatic life. Revitalising streams through the removal of obstructions and re-meandering channels mimics natural hydrological functions, benefiting sensitive fish and invertebrate populations. Re-establishing native wetland vegetation enhances these processes while offering a unique, relaxing and visually appealing feature for employees to enjoy. Who doesn’t love the sight of a frog sitting on a lilypad in mid summer?

Dead wood is Full of Life

Dead trees, fallen branches, and log piles are teeming with life and essential components for a rewilding project. Deadwood is a bustling metropolis for a vast community of life. Beetles, woodlice, centipedes, and millipedes act as nature’s recycling crew, breaking down decaying wood and returning essential nutrients to the soil. This abundance of invertebrates fuels an entire food chain, attracting birds, lizards, and small mammals such as shrews and voles. Meanwhile, fungi work their magic, their threadlike hyphae breaking down tough wood fibres and creating visually striking mushrooms and fruiting bodies. Deadwood offers more than just food; hollows in trees, spaces under logs, and gaps in stacked branches provide shelter, nesting sites, and safe havens from the elements. It’s an entire ecosystem in miniature, all within these seemingly lifeless pieces of wood.

Wildlife Corridors and Habitat Connectivity

Fragmented landscapes pose a significant threat to biodiversity. Wildlife corridors serve as vital “green highways” for species movement. Restoring hedgerows with native shrubs provides cover and food sources for birds and small mammals. Natural buffers along waterways protect aquatic ecosystems while filtering runoff. Strategic tree planting, especially with fruit- and nut-bearing varieties, extends habitat ranges and offers essential nesting sites. These initiatives effectively enhance the health and resilience of local wildlife populations.

Woodland Regeneration

Existing woodlands, even if degraded, offer a foundation for powerful revitalisation. Removing invasive species such as non-native laurel and replacing them with Oak allows native flora to flourish. Reintroducing diverse understory plants such as ferns, wildflowers, and native shrubs mirrors natural forest complexity and offers greater resources for wildlife. Promoting natural deadwood habitats enriches the soil, creates insect habitat, and provides shelter for a variety of creatures– demonstrating that even “messy” natural processes are valuable to the rewilding endeavour.

Data-Driven Success

Rewilding projects can be made even more impactful through monitoring and strategic partnerships with companies such as OUTCO. We will collaborate with local research organisations or environmental bodies to create targeted data collection on species presence and population trends within the rewilded space. This data informs ongoing refinements to maximise ecosystem benefits and provides tangible evidence of your ESG achievements. Moreover, our partnerships also create opportunities for employee engagement through citizen and local school science projects, contributing to a wider body of ecological knowledge.

OUTCO: Your Partner in Strategic Rewilding

OUTCO recognises the pivotal role businesses can play in restoring environmental balance. We offer a comprehensive suite of services to support successful rewilding projects:

  • Site Assessment and Planning: Expert evaluation of your property, alignment of rewilding initiatives with your business goals, and the creation of a strategic roadmap.
  • Ecological Design and Implementation: Science-based planting plans using locally adapted native species, along with responsible implementation practices that minimise disruption.
  • Sustainable Management: Long-term maintenance strategies aligned with rewilding principles, ensuring the continued vitality of your revitalised landscape.
  • Education and Engagement: Materials and programs that foster employee understanding of the rewilded space, cultivating a sense of connection and stewardship within your team.

Your Call to Action!

Transform your corporate landscape into an asset for biodiversity and a powerful testament to your organisation’s environmental values. Contact OUTCO today to explore how strategically implemented rewilding projects can benefit your business, your employees, and the planet.

Contact us about Rewilding

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