Environmental work earns innovation award

Our eco-friendly initiatives have won us Business and Science Park Innovation of the Year at The Business Magazine’s Thames Valley Property Awards. The gong, sponsored by IBB Law, recognises our work to create a sustainable environment, and our biodiversity and environmental programmes.

We are in the second year of the Nurture Biodiversity Award scheme, for which we pick a different type of wildlife to focus on each year. We have completed one year of championing bumblebees and have almost finished the second focusing on birds, for instance by adding new bird boxes and feeders.

Last summer, in partnership with grounds maintenance company Nurture Landscapes, we introduced battery powered equipment – electric hedge cutters, strimmers, leaf blowers and electric utility vehicles – to reduce our fossil fuel consumption. This equipment can be charged directly from the park’s solar panels, and is extremely quiet, making it less disruptive to wildlife, and to meetings.

Bruce Tomlinson, Chief Executive of HR Wallingford Group, which owns Howbery Park, said: “Our ethos has always been to make Howbery an attractive place to work and to tie this in with climate targets like net zero emissions. We were the first business park in the UK to have a solar farm and we are reducing our impact on the environment through initiatives on energy use, recycling and materials.”

The team collect their award

The winning team at the award ceremony

Our programme of continued improvements for the natural world also include adding new bug hotels, and taking measures to preserve and manage our many existing trees and plant new ones. The honey bees in our the hives, which were introduced in 2016, are thriving, and we use their honey for certain dishes in the Café.

Our workshops for tenants, which often have an environmental focus too, started up again this year, with a honey extraction session in October and wreath-making workshop in early December.