Another welly boot meeting on the ground but this time with Thames Water. I am really enjoying this new found alternative format for business meetings to the office, as it was another chance to get some fresh air in daylight hours and appreciate nature on a nice walk. This was also the first time I was ‘officially’ allowed to walk around the site, or at least as much of it that we could physically get to.
Again the company was great too. The head of their delegation was a very positive and bouncing personality, who was delighted to talk about the environment at length! They were accompanied by a senior ecologist and the site manager.
The meeting was very positive, which was great because I was expecting to have to sell this idea to them. The idea that they were going to just let us turn 35 acres of their land into a public access nature reserve. Turns out they were actually rather happy that I wanted to.
We happen to have approached them at a moment in time where Thames Water are currently reviewing all of their property for potential to benefit nature through management. This has been done before, the most well known is perhaps Kempton Nature Reserve https://corporate.thameswater.co.uk/about-us/community/great-days-out/recreational-sites/Kempton-nature-reserve
The next step now is for us to become a formal charity. Thames Water will need us to a be a legal entity as an organisation so that we can enter into a long term agreement with them on the land, get insurance for our volunteers and receive funding.