Nature-led Regenerative Approach
I recently had the pleasure of joining a guided tour of the Belmont Estate in Somerset led by the knowledgeable Gil Martin. Accompanied by the University of Bristol external estates team, including James Fiddock and Alan Stealey, the experience was fantastic and highly informative. It provided valuable insights into various aspects of estate management and maintenance. We are working with the University of Bristol External Estates team to accelerate and implement their green infrastructure and sustainability programme.
The #BelmontEstate stands out as a commercially run establishment committed to habitat creation and biodiversity. As North Somerset and Bristol's first provider of #biodiversitynetgain units, they prioritise biodiversity and offer free nature-based education and community projects, which is commendable.
During the tour, I was impressed by the wide variety of wildflower meadows, grass verges, fields, and woodland areas with grazing cattle. It was fascinating to learn about the impact of different farm animals on the colonisation of other species and the role of ants concerning Ragwort toxicity. The tour provided numerous insightful pointers on ecological symbiosis, enhancing my understanding of the delicate balance within ecosystems.
The wetland recreation at Belmont Estate was inspirational. Their "re-wetting" scheme included re-meandering rivers and creating oxbow lakes, building for better climate resilience. Walking through various meadowlands and experiencing the bio-acoustic sounds of insects made a unique and immersive experience, further highlighting the estate's commitment to the natural environment.
I was particularly intrigued by the innovative business models the estate employs, especially in corporate #ESG funding. The utilisation of long-term 30-year BNG funding on the site piqued my interest, and I look forward to seeing how successful the initiatives are and how they will be monitored. There are undoubtedly many practical applications and benefits of the Belmont Estate's biodiversity initiatives, ranging from building climate resilience to supporting the local ecosystem.
I highly recommend visiting the Belmont Estate to witness these remarkable efforts first-hand. For more information, you can visit their website at https://belmont.estate/