Grahame Madge of the Met Office Biodiversity Working Group talks about why he is committed to enhancing biodiversity at our head office in Exeter.
“Our part of Devon is fantastic for wildlife, and one of the key aims of our group is to support and enhance the wildlife on the Met Office estate. As a group of wildlife enthusiasts, we advise the Property Management team about the biodiversity on site, by liaising over the management of the grounds and providing guidance for contractors.
Recognising and encouraging biodiversity, together with hard work and enthusiasm over the years from lots of staff volunteers, means that we now hold the Wildlife Trusts’ Biodiversity Benchmark. Very few companies have this – and the Met Office was the first public sector body to do so.
Within a relatively small footprint, The Met Office grounds create a variety of wildlife-rich habitats alongside a busy working environment. As a group we get involved with planting and maintaining a wildflower meadow and surveying wildlife and the increasingly rare species visiting our site. During our regular bird survey, I was delighted personally to add red kite to the Met Office species list – a bird which is still a rarity in Devon.
The wildflower meadow and the area around the ponds are the ideal locations to switch off from the pressures of a heavy workload. Listening to the song of reed warblers or the hum of bees is the perfect accompaniment to a busy day.”