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‘Gatwick Goes Wild’ celebrates local wildlife with series of events

Jointly organised by both the airport and the Gatwick Greenspace Partnership, the project will offer a programme of events for all ages to explore the wild spaces and nature found on the airport’s doorstep.

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London Gatwick has today announced a new week-long series of events to bring staff and nearby residents closer to the airport’s local wildlife.

The ‘Gatwick Goes Wild’ project has been jointly organised by both the airport and the Gatwick Greenspace Partnership, and will offer a programme of events for all ages to explore the wild spaces and nature found on the airport’s doorstep.

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Planned events include a walk along the River Mole to learn about the plants and animals living in and alongside it, as well as an evening stroll to enjoy the fascinating sight of bat colonies emerging at sunset. Gatwick will also host a ‘Mammal Detectives’ session, offering an opportunity to track some of the larger mammals living nearby as well as meeting smaller mammals, such as harvest mice and bank voles.

A similar week of wildlife events was organised for Gatwick staff and the public in June last year, and its popularity inspired the airport to offer the events again this year.

The sessions will be led by staff from the Sussex Wildlife Trust, the Surrey Bat Group as well as Gatwick Airport’s Biodiversity Consultant, Rachel Bicker. Rachel, who has a BSc in Zoology and a Masters in Biological Sciences Research, also used to be a volunteer and contractor with the Sussex Wildlife Trust and has even appeared on the BBC’s One Show in her current role at the airport.

‘Gatwick Goes Wild’ will run from Monday 28 May to Saturday 2 June. Spaces for each event will be allocated on a first come, first served basis and all children must be accompanied by an adult. To book a space on any of the sessions, please email: community@gatwickairport.com

Gatwick Airport’s Biodiversity Consultant, Rachel Bicker, said:

“With many species declining across the country, there’s never been a more important time to get out there and engage with wildlife, and from grass snakes to rare long-horned bees, there’s lots of intriguing wildlife to be discovered at Gatwick.

“The airport invests significant resources into protecting and maintaining its environment, and we’re keen to give our local community an insight into how we look after the range of species living on the doorstep of one of Europe’s busiest airports.”

Full programme of events:

Monday 28 May – Wildlife along the River Mole, 10:45am – 1pm
Learn about the species of plants and animals along the River Mole at Gatwick.

Tuesday 29 May – Family Bushcraft and Woodland Adventure, 10:15am – 2:30pm
A series of wildlife-related activities for children and their adults!

Wednesday 30 May – Wildflowers and their Pollinators, 12:45pm – 2pm
Join us on a walk from the South Terminal and learn about the important insects which pollinate our plants.

Thursday 31 May – Butterfly Ball and Grasshopper’s Feast, 11am – 1pm
To the Butterfly Ball and the Grasshoppers Feast. All are invited, both insect and beast!

Friday 1 June – River Mole Bat Walk, 8:45pm – 11pm
Witness bats at sunset emerging from the roof of an old farmhouse and listen to them on a bat detector.

Saturday 2 June – Mammal Detectives, 10:15am – 2:30pm
Meet some of Gatwick’s mammals and learn all about how we find them.

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Gatwick

Gatwick launches UK’s first electric car sharing service

The 100% electric vehicles produce zero emissions which supports Gatwick’s carbon neutral status.

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Ten 'Blue City' electric cars on Gatwick's airfield.

In a UK airport first, passengers, staff and local residents can now reserve and pick up a 100% electric car at Gatwick – and return it to any of 300 compatible pick up/ drop off points across London or back at Gatwick – the airport announced yesterday.

The service – similar to schemes popular in other parts of the world – is being rolled out in partnership with Bluecity, the only company to operate a pan-London electric vehicle car sharing service with 100 cars currently available in total.

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Discussions are also ongoing with local authorities and business groups about expanding the network further in London and in areas surrounding the airport.

Operating in a similar way to existing cycle schemes across the capital, ten cars and charging points are currently available on Gatwick’s South Terminal forecourt. This is Bluecity’s first airport hub and discussions are in progress to increase capacity.

The new point to point service gives people using the airport a convenient, zero emissions travel option for getting directly on and off the airport and is purposely designed to be easy to locate and use, with customers able to reserve a car in seconds via the Bluecity app.

Local residents are also encouraged to use the service and Gatwick staff have also been offered the opportunity to trial the service for free.

A standard journey in a Bluecity car from central London is also an affordable travel option to the airport. The four-seater’s drive from Central London to the very front of the airport will cost around £15 in moderate traffic.

The service is also flexible and works both ways, so that those travelling to Gatwick from the capital can pick up a car at any of the London-based charging points and drop it off at the airport.

Car sharing is also growing in popularity in the UK and this new partnership represents another first in Gatwick’s journey to be the UK’s most sustainable airport. Gatwick is accredited as a carbon neutral airport, uses 100% renewable electricity and 44% of passengers currently get to the airport by public transport.

The 24,000 staff on Gatwick’s airport campus and local residents are also being encouraged to use the new electric car sharing service.

Gatwick Airport’s Chief Commercial Officer Guy Stephenson said:

“Gatwick leads the way on airport innovation and this UK airport first not only offers a new, flexible option for getting on and off the airport, it also improves air quality.

“When it comes to electric car sharing schemes, few companies have experienced the success of Bluecity and its parent company. Given the popular demand for similar electric car sharing services in other parts of the world, this new service has the potential to take off in the UK and we are proud to be at the forefront of this transport revolution.”

Bluecity’s Managing Director Christophe Arnaud said:

“We are particularly proud of this milestone agreement with Gatwick Airport and look forward to our collaboration for years to come. We believe this new service is a fantastic solution for travellers. Our cars are powered exclusively with 100% renewable energy making the service the greenest and most affordable transport option to and from Central London.”

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