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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

Criminals beware, Project Servator has launched at Gatwick and it WILL spot you!

Unpredictable, that’s the key word for the project launched at Gatwick Airport for the first time, ensuring that security checks are performed without any notice.

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In this day and age we all feel a sense of safety whenever we see a police patrol going about their business.  None more so than at an airport.

“deter, detect and disrupt hostile reconnaissance”

Now Gatwick has gone one step further and adopted the national project Servator that has performed so well up and down the country.

Inspector James Biggs from the Gatwick Police Prevention Team explained:

“Project Servator is a project initiated by the city of London police that has now gone nationwide including railway stations and airports.

It’s designed to deter, detect and disrupt the hostile reconnaissance coming to the airport and places of interest.  That’s all levels of criminality from shoplifters to terrorists.

The project has been live nationwide for a number of a years which is why we adopted it here.”

But what is it?

The aim is be as unpredictable as possible and run security checks utilising all arms of the available resources available to the police, from uniformed to plain clothed and armed officers.  Additionally the use of dogs and the sophisticated CCTV and number plate recognition software all combine to create the airports very own ring of steel.

The officers have been specially trained to detect people who may come to the airport and act in a different manner.  Something not easy in an environment as busy as Gatwick where the people change every single hour and day.

But it is not just within the airport buildings that the project is undertaken.

Road checkpoints have also been set up ensuring that if anyone even thinks about getting close to the airport for wrong reasons then they will have no choice but to come face to face with the police.

Whilst the whole project is all about being unpredictable and therefore catching out would-be criminals, there is an additional side that could be witnessed first hand while watching the officers in action.

Smiles on the faces of passengers.

The very presence, the interaction and the belief that Gatwick is showing that safety is of paramount importance to all who both work and travel through the airport.

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