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Our Biodiversity Team work hard to monitor and protect the species and habitats that call our landholdings and catchments home. We own over 400 sites! Some of these sites are even nationally and locally designated for rare species or features. That's why they need extra care to keep the biodiversity thriving. We're not just doing this because it's the right thing to do, we also have a duty of care and standards to meet. These are set out nationally in the Wildlife and Countryside Act, the National Environment and Rural Communities (NERC) Act, the National Environmental Improvement Plan and the habitats regulations. The industry requirements are set out in Water Industry National Environment Programme (WINEP) and the Water Industry Strategic Environmental Requirements (WISER) where our long-term commitments and goals as a company are set out.

We take our commitment to biodiversity seriously, so we've got specific management plans for all our sites. Depending on the range and scale of the site, these plans can be basic or detailed with lots of ecological surveys. If we need to do development work, we make sure to do it in a way that won't harm any species or habitats protected by law. One way we might do this is through additional detailed ecological surveys. We aim to maintain biodiversity value on all of our sites where relevant and possible to increase its value in the medium to long term in accordance with the plan established for the site.

A group of cows in a field taken by our biodiversity team

The different areas of our programme

Trees and Invasive Non-native Species (INNS) management

Trees and INNs

Engagement and partnerships

Engagement and partnerships

Species, habitat management and our designated sites

Species, habitat management and our designated sites

Biodiversity Net Gain


What we're doing

River Restoration

River restoration

Abstraction reductions

Abstraction reductions

Catchment Management

Catchment Management

Environmental monitoring

Environmental monitoring


We've got over 40,000 trees on our sites, from common ones like English Oak to rarer ones like Black Poplar. We have a responsibility to manage the trees for health and safety, as well as biodiversity. We've got specific management plans for each site, and we inspect the trees every 18 months.


We're also committed to reducing invasive non-native species (INNS) on our land. We do this through annual monitoring and treatment works. We're working with people across the water industry and other organisations to tackle aquatic INNS in England, and we're even funding research with CABI (Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International) into ways to control Himalayan Balsam and Floating Pennywort.

We launched our INNS Out Scheme in 2021 - it helps local community groups manage INNS around our catchment area. So far, we've given awards to over 60 groups, and some of them have been working with us for years! They're helping us create long-term management plans that really work.

Learn more and apply >

We're also working with other organisations around our supply area to help with biodiversity. We're doing everything from managing our sites to providing volunteering opportunities for our employees and community.

We're working with our colleagues and stakeholders in the Water Industry through the Aquatic Biosecurity Partnership to take on invasive species in England. We're carrying out an enhanced aquatic biosecurity programme. The GB Non-native Species Secretariat is leading the programme, overseen by the partnership steering group of water companies and key Check, Clean, Dry partners who are contributing to the project through their time and the activities of their organisation. We're even funding campaigns like Check Clean Dry and Be Plant Wise to raise awareness.


At Affinity Water, we've got a programme to help our staff learn all about biodiversity. We've got an Environmental Handbook and important Tool Box Talks available to everyone. They teach our teams all about key species and habitats, and what to do if they find something on site. Plus, our staff get to volunteer with local wildlife groups - how cool is that?

We're also working with our partners to monitor and manage sites for biodiversity:

And guess what? We're always looking for ways to support even more biodiversity enhancement projects in our communities. 

Check out our sites

Species and habitat management:

We've got a big responsibility to take care of all the amazing plants and animals that live on our land. We monitor through surveys, enhance through projects and protect through legislation.  Many of these species are protected by law, like Barn Owls and Bats.

We're also starting a pollinator enhancement program, which is all about creating more habitats for pollinators like bees. We've got 50 sites all picked out along B-Lines, which is an initiative created by the charity BugLife. We're making custom plans for each site, and they’ll be in place from 2025.

Learn more about B-Lines >

We've also got bird and bat boxes set up all over our sites. We've even installed some swift boxes at nine of our sites in Hertfordshire. We're always looking for more opportunities to install boxes and help all our feathered and furry friends.

At Affinity Water, we own over 450 pieces of land, and some of them are super important for the environment. Some are even designated as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty or Sites of Special Scientific Interest. We've got 121 sites that fall under a designated site classification. These sites need constant care and attention to make sure they're being managed properly.

Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG):

Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) is all about helping nature recover while we're developing land. We want to make sure that the habitats for all our wildlife are even better than they were before we started building.

In 2023, our in-house ecologists are baselining all our land for BNG. That's because BNG is going to be mandatory for planning starting in November 2023. We're also getting ready for our biodiversity Performance Commitments in AMP8, as directed by our regulators. Water companies must make sure they're enhancing biodiversity and show no deterioration or loss.

We're committed to increasing biodiversity in our supply area by at least 10% for any project where we need planning permission.

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