As an organisation that works with the natural environment, the Met Office recognises the importance of protecting and enhancing biodiversity.

Met Office headquarters, Exeter Met Office headquarters, Exeter

The Met Office Biodiversity Working Group is committed to improving the biodiversity of all our sites, focussing primarily on developing sustainable habitats suitable for wildlife, plant life and pond life native to the UK.

There is ever increasing pressure on habitats and the resources within them and we recognise the need to promote biodiversity at our Exeter headquarters and at our UK frontline sites by providing suitable and sustainable refuge for local wildlife. For example, at our headquarters we have introduced areas of wildflower meadow, improved pond and woodland areas, and also changed formal flower beds around the site to increase species diversity and provide nectar for insects through much of the year. Monitoring programmes organised by staff volunteers include the regular surveys of the butterflies, birds, bats and reptiles on site. To date over 400 different species of plant, animal and insect have been identified, with new species appearing each year. Management of the habitats in response to these new visitors is a constantly evolving but rewarding challenge.

As a result of the way we manage our site, the Met Office has been awarded the prestigious. Wildlife trust Wildlife Trusts' Biodiversity Benchmark Award

Only a handful of companies have met this standard and we are the first public sector body to do so. This reflects our ongoing commitment to increase biodiversity at our Exeter HQ and frontline sites, while also reducing our overall environmental impact.

We are happy to offer advice and guidance to other organisations that are interested in enhancing biodiversity at their sites and achieving the Wildlife Trusts Biodiversity Benchmark Award, please contact our Biodiversity team.

An Emperor dragonfly rests on the reeds which surround the Met Office pond. Photo: Tom Blackmore An Emperor dragonfly rests on the reeds which surround the Met Office pond.Photo: Tom Blackmore

Last updated: 9 February 2015