The Environment Investment Programme (EIP) comprised a range of localised projects along the replacement pipeline route to carry out activities such as creating habitats to benefit biodiversity. The final package of works was agreed with landowners, environmental bodies and local councils.

During construction, the project also engaged with communities along the route to identify opportunities where we could support local initiatives in the vicinity of our replacement pipeline works such as volunteering or funding community-led projects.

There are several EIP activities within these local authority areas, including:

  • Scrub clearance, pond restoration, and glade creation at Ewshot Meadows & Wakefords Copse; and
  • A donation to support the Hedgerow Planting scheme run by South Downs National Park Trust (SDNPT) and Winchester City Council. The scheme is focused on hedgerow planting and restoration taking place throughout the South Downs National Park. Funding has been given so the length of the hedgerow planted matches the distance that the project is working within the Park. This provides nature with a ‘road system’, allowing wildlife to move safely from one area to another, provides buffers to reduce the run off from fields that degrade soils, and provides support to a number of rare and endangered species including harvest mice and brown hairstreak butterflies.

The project has used a local charity, Men’s Shed, to create benches for locations along the scheme. Staff were also able to take part in three volunteer days to support the SDNPT’s hedgerow initiative and help with hedge laying.

The project is supporting EIP activities in Queen Elizabeth Park (QEP), Cove Brook Greenway Corridor, and Southwood Country Park.


Queen Elizabeth Park is a 24-acre woodland park located in Farnborough, Hampshire.

  1. Localised rhododendron control outside of the project Order Limits. This increases light availability to the understorey and creates a more diverse edge habitat.
  2. Signage and interpretation boards throughout the park. Signage detailing information on local flora and fauna species encourages local conservation efforts and enhances visitor experience within the natural environment.
  3. Restoration and reed planting to the pond adjacent to the play area within the park. Pond restoration encourages a greater variety of flora and fauna species through freshwater availability and wetland habitats, which benefits biodiversity. Reed planting increases the habitats in the area.

Cove Brook Greenway Corridor

Cove Brook is a two-mile greenway through the middle of a built-up area of Farnborough, Hampshire.

  1. Signage and interpretation boards to be provided at Cove Brook and Blunden Hall. Signage detailing information on local flora and fauna species encourages local conservation efforts and enhances visitor experience within the natural environment.
  2. Scrub and tree clearance adjacent to the brook over a total area of 500m2. This encourages a greater variety of habitat and lets more light into the watercourse.
  3. Bramble removal in areas adjacent to the brook. Clearance of bramble and other scrub allows for additional wildflower planting.
  4. Wildflower corridor creation in areas adjacent to the brook. This increases the biodiversity in the local area, as well as increasing the visual amenity.
  5. Otter survey at Five Arches Railway Bridge. This allows for a better understanding the otter population presence and use of the Cove Brook in this area.
  6. Simple in-stream enhancements comprising a mixture of large wood, woody/brash berms and gravel to improve in-stream habitats throughout Cove Brook. This creates areas of differing flow to provide habitat for a wider range of biodiversity.
  7. Project support to provide third party technical specialist work particularly with regard to watercourse activities. This ensures the correct specialist advice is obtained to maximise the benefits of the environmental work.

Southwood Country Park

Southwood Country Park is a 57-hectare Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG) located on the site of the former Southwood Golf Course in Farnborough, Hampshire.

  1. Encroaching birch removal in Southwood Woodland. This reduces the successional growth of scrub and encourages the establishment of acidic grassland.
  2. Encroaching willow/alder removal & tree thinning. Willow/alder removal over an area of 1000m2 and tree thinning over an area of 250m2. These activities reduce the successional growth of scrub and encourages marsh grassland.
  3. Woodland copse creation to the east of the park with an approximate area of 8000m2. This encourages a variety of habitat, creating a matrix of habitats across the site.

SLP project staff have engaged with schools local to the scheme including Henry Tyndale School and Farnborough Hill School, in order to deliver STEM activities and support school events. A number of volunteer days with Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust have been organised for project staff. The project also donated two defibrillators in aid of the Frimley Carnival, whose normal route was impacted due to works.

Within the borough there are several EIP activities the project is funding such as:

  1. Improvements to a balancing pond in Balmoral Drive to remove invasive planting, redress silt levels and new appropriate planting.
  2. Balmoral Drive and St Catherines SANG: Creation of acidic grassland habitat, installation of benches, bird and bat boxes, log and brash piles, and loggaries, signage to inform the public of ecology within the area.
  3. Enhanced reinstatement and creation of four glades at Frith Hill.
  4. Flow reduction within Fuel Allotments including installation of new recycled plastic flow restriction points that will allow the creation of new sections of wetland channel.
  5. Colony Bog and Bagshot Heath: Bare earth scrapes, targeted scrub clearance, and glade creation.
  6. In Turf Hill there are activities such as birch clearance, installation of bird boxes, bat boxes, stag beetle stumperies, log and brash piles and lace wing boxes in wooded areas, and support for gaultheria and bracken management. Information boards including ecological information gained from Esso’s and the council’s surveys will be installed in the car park.
  7. Improvements are being made to Heronscourt weir including reconstruction of outfall structure.
  8. In Windlemere SANG funding has been given for a native tree and hedgerow planting scheme, watercourse flow reduction, and installation of bat boxes, signage, and benches.
  9. Chobham Common: the project is supporting scrub clearance, completion of an entomology survey as well as updating the Wildfire Management Plan to build and enhance the existing plan as well as tying in with the new site management plan.

The SLP Project has funded £50,000 in support of the Chertsey Meads Management Plan. The Chertsey Meads Management Plan 2017-2025 was produced for Runnymede Borough Council by Surrey Wildlife Trust, and prescribes a range of works aimed at enhancing the biodiversity of the site

Salesian School visited the project for a week in June for work experience when students were introduced to staff from across the project. SLP staff also attended an Enrichment Afternoon at Salesian College.

The project has worked with Clarendon Primary School to undertake enhanced reinstatement within the relatively small school grounds due to extended works over a 6-month period. This has involved refreshing play areas with a new fenced all-weather pitch, new plastic fencing around other play areas, donation of sports and play equipment, as well as tablets. The school have also had new playground markings installed that have been designed with the help of the school. Furthermore, SLP have supported the school with the implementation of a wildlife garden area and delivered STEM workshops for staff and pupils about this.

SLP team members attended Thomas Knyvett College to deliver a careers workshop in October 2022.

In Spelthorne we are focusing on engaging with different community groups and schools to deliver more volunteering for our team.