Stoford on track with Worcester Six environmental preservation programme
The developer behind the Worcester Six Business Park has revealed it is on track to complete its extensive work to safeguard the environment and preserve the rich wildlife at the site.
Stoford Developments has already finished a number of projects at the business park, which will – when completed – provide about 1.5m sq ft of employment floor space in a unique business environment.
Edward Peel, development manager at Stoford, said Worcester Six is classed as a “game changer” development, which is considered to be an exemplar for its economic and environmental performance.
“The environmental remit is central to the development work and we’re proud to be delivering not just a first-class business park, but valuable green space that is a vital plant species and wildlife habitat,” he said.
“As custodians of the site, it is incumbent on us to not just preserve it, but to improve it for future generations. We’re taking this work extremely seriously and we’re already seeing the benefits, which we know will contribute hugely to the environmental strategy in Worcestershire.”
Working with Worcestershire’s Green Infrastructure (GI) Partnership has led to the creation of a long-term GI Concept Plan, which commits Stoford to making sure 40% – approximately 16.5 hectares – of the site is earmarked for green infrastructure.
The Plan also commits the Birmingham-based developer to creating: 38 metres of new watercourse; and 100% retention of woodland, wet grassland, rough grassland and species-rich hedgerows.
It has made a start on its commitment to remove 527 metres of poor-quality hedgerow and replace it with 3000 metres of new hedgerow planting to boost wildlife species; and to plant more than 250 standard trees, three hectares of new woodland and shrub planting and 5000m2 of wildflower seeding and native bulb planting.
Stoford has fully protected and committed to the long-term management of 0.8 hectares of wet grassland meadows, which, with two parcels of ancient woodland, forms a central component of the “green spine” and are vital habitats for wildlife and plant species.
Newly planted hedgerows and tree-planting in buffer zones will also re-link the two ancient woodland sites together, making them more resilient and of greater value for wildlife.
It has also saved veteran trees, which are valuable sources for fungi, lichens, bryophytes and deadwood invertebrates, and are also important nesting and roosting sites for bats and birds, while those that could not be retained within the development site have been moved elsewhere within the green spine.
It is also planning to create two wildlife structures, at least one of which will be designed specifically for swifts, which return to the same nest every year, establishing colonies that can last for centuries. The new nest site aims to establish a swift population here for future generations.
Councillor Ken Pollock, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Economy and Infrastructure said: “It is great to see the progress being made in all aspects of the Worcester Six Development. I am very much looking forward to seeing the positive impact of the tireless work our teams have put in, in the most difficult of circumstances, to maintain the county’s extensive progress in the business development and growth area. The County Council is keen to see development which also conserves and enhances Worcestershire’s rich natural and historic environment. The preservation of iconic floodplain grassland, ancient woodlands and veteran trees will make this site especially valuable for both today’s businesses and for the enjoyment of future generations.”
Over the past three years, Stoford Developments has announced the arrival of IONOS, Marmon Food and Beverage Equipment, Siemens, Spire Healthcare, Kimal and Kohler Mira at Worcester Six. Once fully developed, Worcester Six will provide 1.5 million sq ft of accommodation.