Although Muntons in Stowmarket is an industrial site, only about half of the 45 acres of land is used for manufacturing. There are many areas that are not used for our core business of making malt but can be extremely valuable for wildlife, so we decided to make use of it by providing wildlife walk areas for employees. This includes two large areas of floodplain land adjacent to the river, one which is kept neat, tidy and ‘managed’ and another which is left almost entirely for nature to manage. We were inspired by Suffolk Wildlife Trust to turn the ‘unused’ areas into wildlife walks.
We knew that there was some common fauna such as wood pigeons and squirrels, but we also have much rarer inhabitants including Kingfishers and Little Egrets. There is also a wide variety of flora too with many of Britain’s native trees thriving in all areas of the site.
It occurred to us that not only could this area be opened up with access paths and planned routes to better see the wildlife, but we could also use this to encourage our staff to get outside and appreciate all that we have on our doorstep. Fresh air and exercise make for a healthier workforce! We’ve heard that a good target is to clock up 10,000 steps per day but how many of us actually get anywhere near that? For the ‘average’ person 2,000 steps is approx. 1 mile and, in the UK, the average person manages only 3,000 to 4,000 steps per day!
The wildlife walks are the perfect way to increase your daily step count. The walks range in length from 0.4 miles to 1.2 miles so there is something for everyone - our Floodplain Circular has even been designed with trail running in mind!
We must stress that the walks are only available for Muntons employees to use – they are not open to the public. Our hope is that at some time in the future we might be able to open the walks to selected organised groups.