Tree-mendous project delivered thanks to Panattoni
A Kent environmental charity has enlisted the support of Europe’s largest independent developer of logistics and distribution property to continue the planting of a new wood at Boughton Monchelsea, near Maidstone.
Eight members from every department at Panattoni, the team behind Panattoni Park Aylesford, took an afternoon away from their desks and site offices, donned their wellies, grabbed their spades and headed off to Lyewood, with a collection of native English species, including oak, hornbeam, dogwood and hazelnut.
Lyewood, which is on the site of a former chicken farm, will offer public access to new woodland, wildflower meadows and ponds, off Green Lane on the edge of the village. More than 550 trees have been planted already on the 11-acre project, which is being led by the charity: Boughton Monchelsea Amenity Trust (BMAT).
The Lyewood initiative is one of Panattoni UK’s many environmental commitments as part of the planning permission granted by Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council for the redevelopment of the vacant former Aylesford Newsprint site.
Caroline Jessel, Chair of BMAT, said: “Lyewood is all about supporting long-term nature recovery, improving biodiversity and nurturing new wildlife habitats.
“Thanks to the active support of Panattoni, and ecological advice from Kent Wildlife Trust we are transforming what was a degraded agricultural site to create a vibrant home for native flora, fauna and wildlife.”
The return of the woodland, alongside grassland meadows and wetlands, all achieved without the need for chemicals or fertiliser, will capture carbon from the atmosphere, help improve flood prevention and make a positive contribution to tackling climate change.
The planting was undertaken at this time of year to give the saplings the best chance of survival and was carried out ahead of National Tree Week 2023 which starts on 25 November.
Tony Watkins, Panattoni’s Head of Development for South East and London, added: “It was great to meet Caroline and the volunteers, and to help turn their vision for a community woodland into reality. Working with BMAT and Kent Wildlife Trust we have been able to make a real difference at Lyewood.
“We have also created new beneficial habitats through the rewilding of the Ditton stream, plus additional tree planting and wild meadow seeding on and around our Aylesford site.
“As a company we have always sought to lead by example. This saw us commit to delivering a 10% biodiversity net gain back in 2020, which was ahead of the Government requiring developers like ourselves to do it, and which has yet to come into force.”
The work is part of Panattoni’s environmental, social and governance commitment when it invests in an area. The company’s focus on sustainability has seen it deliver 5 kilometres of new cycleways and footpaths at Aylesford, and fund the refurbishment of the Aylesford and New Hythe railway stations.
Panattoni is also delivering market-leading standards of environmental performance in the logistics and distribution buildings it develops. When creating Panattoni Park Aylesford site, the team successfully re-used all of the concrete generated during the demolition programme of the former Aylesford Newsprint site, with 99 percent of the previous steel recycled.
The buildings at Panattoni Park Aylesford incorporate solar PV on the roofs and car park canopies, with additional EV charging points. Each building has also been designed with high levels of insulation and energy efficient building materials to help them achieve a BREEAM rating of ‘Excellent’ and an energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of ‘A’. They all use LED lighting, rainwater harvesting and water efficient technologies.
For information on Panattoni and its development at Aylesford visit www.panattoni.co.uk