As an organisation that works with the natural environment, the Met Office recognises the importance of protecting and enhancing biodiversity.
We recognise the need to promote biodiversity at our Exeter head office and at our UK frontline sites by providing suitable and sustainable refuge for local wildlife.
At our head office we have:
- introduced areas of wildflower meadow, improved pond and woodland areas;
- changed formal flower beds around the site to increase species diversity and provide nectar for insects through much of the year;
- organised monitoring programmes by staff volunteers to 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.
Watch the video below to follow a year of biodiversity at the Met Office Exeter head office and see the variety of different flora and fauna we have on our site and how we are working to enhance biodiversity:
In the video below, Dr Richard Fox, Head of Recording at wildlife charity Butterfly Conservation talks to Prof. Adam Scaife, Head Monthly to Decadal Prediction at the Met Office, about the effects of climate change and weather on butterflies and takes a tour of the wildflower meadows surrounding our head office:
In 2021, we celebrated the 10th anniversary of achieving the prestigious Wildlife Trusts’ Biodiversity Benchmark for our Met Office head office in Exeter. 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 both at our Exeter head office and frontline sites, while also reducing our overall environmental impact.
Thirzah McSherry, Director of Marketing, Development and Communications at The Wildlife Trusts, said:
"The climate and nature crises are inextricably linked – we won’t solve one without the other. We need 30% of our land and seas protected for nature if we are to avoid the worst effects of climate change and restore the abundance of wildlife to the UK.
“We’re delighted that the Met Office has cared for its land to The Wildlife Trusts’ Biodiversity Benchmark standard for a fabulous ten years – definitely something to celebrate. Their land now includes a meadow of wildflowers and grasses which many insects, birds and small mammals call home, as well as ponds which attract wetland wildlife such as newts, dragonflies and waterbirds – a wonderful result for wildlife.”
To mark the anniversary, Harry Barton, Devon Wildlife Trust CEO, made a visit to our site and, in the video below, you can hear Harry in conversation with Dr Martin Andrews (Chair of our Biodiversity Working Group) and see the impacts of our biodiversity work around the site.
Take a look at our poster to find out more about what has been achieved since we were first awarded the Biodiversity Benchmark in 2011.
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.