Britvic will be supporting the projects with £125,000 which, over the course of three years, will see experts and volunteers undertake river and wetland restoration near two of Britvic’s factories in Leeds and Beckton. The Chellow Dene and Wanstead Park wetland projects are crucial to improving biodiversity, water quality and mitigating flood risk.
Alex Adam, Deputy Director of Strategic Development and Water Stewardship at The Rivers Trust, said: “The Rivers Trust is very excited to continue our partnership with Britvic to deliver much-needed wetland and river restoration projects across the UK.
“We’re working in partnership to support Britvic’s water stewardship ambitions by providing effective nature-based solutions for catchments in which they operate.
“By working together we’re improving and regenerating green and blue space for wildlife, supporting local communities, and improving the water resilience of the business.”
Chellow Dene, a site seven miles from Britvic’s factory in Leeds, will see a one-year project dedicated to restoring at least 600m2 of wetland. The restoration, in collaboration with Aire Rivers Trust, includes the implementation of a leaky dam – a wood debris barrier that acts as a natural flood management technique.
The water detained on the site during peak flows will help alleviate pressure to both Bradford and Leeds city downstream of this location, where over 5,000 properties and businesses were flooded during the Boxing Day 2015 floods. With the project completion date expected in Spring 2023 – the project will be supported by local community volunteer groups, The Rivers Trust experts and Britvic volunteers.
Three and a half miles from Britvic’s factory in Beckton, the leading soft drinks manufacturer will work with Thames 21 and City of London Corporation to support a partnership project to find a more sustainable source of water for the ponds at Wanstead Park, managed by the City Corporation as a registered charity as part of Epping Forest.
The multi-year project will help improve the ponds, covering 14 hectares – one key aim is to relieve pressure on the aquifer, an underground water reservoir, by reducing the amount of water extracted via a borehole to fill the lake cascade.
The results from both projects will enhance water resource and storage, creating a more resilient landscape. The improvements will also increase biodiversity by creating new homes for nature whilst contributing to the mitigation of climate change by storing carbon. Wetlands and reedbeds also filter water by trapping contaminants, therefore enhancing water quality within the catchment.
Sarah Webster, Director of Sustainable Business at Britvic, said: “As a leading soft drinks company, water is our most precious resource.
“We recognise our impact on water and partnering with The Rivers Trust allows us to work with experts to support vital projects in Great Britain to improve our waterways and in turn, support business resilience.
“It’s a fantastic learning opportunity for us all and I’m excited for Britvic colleagues to get involved through volunteering opportunities throughout this journey.”
Water is vital to Britvic and to every single one of its 37 much-loved brands. That’s why Britvic is working to improve the water catchments where it operates, reduce the amount of water it uses to manufacture soft drinks and influence its suppliers to make lasting changes.
In 2021 alone, Britvic implemented water efficiency projects in Great Britain that will save over 10 million litres of water annually. It also reduced water usage during pasteurisation at its Araguari factory in Brazil as well as implemented water reuse projects across all three of its Brazilian sites.
Last year, Britvic announced its commitment to taking action to improve the quality of waterways near its sites by joining The Rivers Trust Water Stewardship Programme. Since joining forces, Britvic has worked with The Rivers Trust on seven volunteering days – from removing litter found on the banks of the Thames near Battersea to clearing half a mile of dense vegetation along the River Roding.