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Sandhole Veterinary Centre in Kent has been awarded bronze accreditation by Investors in the Environment (iiE) after transforming a portion of its Snodland site into a wildlife garden.

The team started work on the former dog exercising paddock in 2020 and it has since been transformed with a host of initiatives that have been recognised by iiE in its assessment.

Wildlife haven

“We’ve really seen the fruits of our labour over the past two years, with butterflies and bees on the increase. There is already lots of insect-friendly planting at the front of the practice so we can support a large number of pollinators.

“In addition to the new garden, a significant proportion of the paddock has been left to overgrow, which has led to more rabbits, a stoat and at least one self-seeded oak tree sapling.

“We also have a plant compost heap and have started to install a pond. Interestingly, one new team member says she applied for the role partly as a result of the wildlife area as it chimed with her values.”

Positive feedback

As well as its ongoing work to improve the area for wildlife, staff also held a day of action to clean up the local area.

Team members took it in turns to spend an hour picking up litter from the roads around the practice and filled nine bags of rubbish between them.

Mrs Foster added: “Not only did this improve the area and reduce the hazard to wildlife, it was a positive and thought-provoking exercise for the team. We hope that some of the many drivers who passed us will think again before throwing litter into the verge.

“We have had lots of positive feedback and one client has even donated materials for the wildlife garden. We hope our project will inspire people to do more and support our initiatives.”