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CHARLIE DIMMOCK GOES WILD AT ROLLS-ROYCE
2 May 2007

Charlie Dimmock   The competition was arranged in partnership with the Sussex Wildlife Trust, an organisation of which Rolls-Royce is a Gold member. This programme offers scope for children to develop their creative skills within the National Curriculum and to develop understanding of the environment. The brief was to create a garden which provides habitats for creatures like butterflies, ladybirds and spiders, as part of the food chain for the many varied wildlife species that are frequently seen at the Goodwood site. These include swans, ducks, geese, moorhens, cormorants, terns, badgers, deer, foxes and owls. The Fishbourne school children will return regularly to tend the garden and see which animal species have colonised it.

Rolls-Royce employees lent a hand too, preparing the ground and planting specially selected shrubs to encourage insect colonisation as part of the biological food chain at the 42-acre site. Rolls-Royce has already established over 400,000 trees and shrubs to encourage biodiversity and to ensure that the buildings blend in with the surrounding landscape.

The main buildings at the Rolls-Royce manufacturing plant feature a 'living roof' which is planted with a variety of sedum plants. It extends to eight acres and is believed to be the largest in the UK. As well as acting as an ideal habitat for flora and fauna the roof also provides insulation in the winter and evaporative cooling in the summer, which cuts energy bills. A number of breeding pairs of skylarks were spotted nesting on the roof last summer. The grounds also feature a number of lakes which act as a heat sink for the climate control systems in the head office buildings, resulting in savings over the cost of air conditioning.

A custom-made owl box was placed in the grounds last December and more boxes are planned for the future.

Ian Robertson, Chairman and Chief Executive, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars said, "We are committed to encouraging biodiversity by integrating the facilities here into the beautiful surrounding landscape. We were delighted to work with the children from Fishbourne CE Primary School and their garden, which will contribute to our longer term efforts to help ensure local wildlife is preserved."

Dr Tony Whitbread, Chief Executive of the Sussex Wildlife Trust, said, "It is one of the Trust's main objectives to educate children about wildlife and the need to take care of the environment. It is vital that the next generation of decision-makers realises the importance of our local natural habitats and the wildlife that depends on them. We applaud the efforts of companies like Rolls-Royce which are contributing so much towards that aim."


Fishbourne CE Primary School
Fishbourne CE Primary School go wild at Rolls-Royce. Photos:Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Ltd