News and Views from Bennetts

News | 24 October 2022

Bennetts team gets stuck in at WWT Slimbridge to help the Common Crane

This year we were delighted to continue our sponsorship of WWT Slimbridge to support work on breeding areas for the Common Crane – Britain’s largest bird. Our ‘Cranes for Cranes’ campaign is also aimed at raising awareness of the crane, which until 12 years ago was extinct in the UK – but thanks to charities like WWT their population is steadily growing.  

We recently spent two days at the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust (WWT) Slimbridge, to explore the reserve and take part in some volunteering – helping cranes of an altogether different variety to our construction equipment in our ongoing conservation initiative.  

On the first day we visited WWT Slimbridge, we were keen to find out how our sponsorship is helping the Common Crane and learn more about the wildlife at Slimbridge. 

We started the day by hopping into a 4×4 for a tour around the reserve – keeping our eyes peeled for sight of the cranes and their newly fledged chicks. After lunch, we had time to freely roam the reserve to explore all the wonderful wildlife and vegetation that surrounds them. We even spotted some cranes from the viewing point! 

Craig Sharkey, Tower Crane Fitter and Appointed Person (LOLER 1998) at Bennetts, commented: “I was really pleased we learned so much about the cranes and conservation on site. Remarkable to know that our sponsorship has helped the cranes to have a most successful year of breeding.” 

On the second day of our visit, it was time for us to roll our sleeves up and take part in some conservation work. This included prepping a section of fencing before its removal and haymaking on some herb-rich grassland – which will later be used as a nursery area for the crane chicks.  

Lucy Brazier, Accounts Administrator at Bennetts commented: “We were all glad to be able to join in and support the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust at Slimbridge for the day, to contribute towards and observe the outstanding conservation work they are doing on site, particularly with their reintroduction of the Common Cranes which we were able to see on the day.” 

Scott Petrek, Reserve Warden at WWT Slimbridge said: “We were delighted to welcome the Bennetts Cranes team to WWT Slimbridge for an engagement day. Despite some murky looking weather, we managed to get out for a Wild Safari in the morning to see our cranes and see the results of their hard work last year, before the team explored the rest of the reserve and its wildlife. 

“The team then returned for a volunteering day, and we were happy to report that their enthusiasm for Slimbridge had not dulled! The group worked hard helping us restore some of the nesting islands where our cranes breed, as well as creating new hides through the reedbed so visitors can enjoy sightings of elusive species like bitterns, water rails and otters through the winter months. It was a pleasure to have Bennetts Cranes on-site to see the benefits that their support has had, and we were very impressed with their campaign t-shirts. We hope to have them back to the centre again soon.” 

To find out more about our sponsorship with WWT Slimbridge, click here.  

News and views from Bennetts Cranes