The environment around an Oxfordshire site of special scientific interest (SSSI) has been boosted with a new border.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN), now a founding partner of the Projects for Nature initiative, has invested just below £77,000 in the restoration and rewetting of an 11-hectare fen bordering the SSSI.

Projects for Nature facilitates partnerships between businesses, environmental NGOs, and key government environmental bodies to aid nature recovery strategies.

The initiative highlights the diligent work of organisations like the Environment Agency, DEFRA, and Natural England.

"SSEN is fortunate to work in many of the UK’s most precious natural environments.

"This is a privilege – and it’s also a big responsibility," SSEN Distribution’s managing director Chris Burchell shared.

Mr Burchell added: "I’m proud SSEN Distribution is the first utility company to support Projects for Nature."

The money from SSEN will enable the Freshwater Habitats Trust to commence the essential restoration work.

The site is an alkaline fen providing a unique habitat for a myriad of wetland species.

However, factors such as drying from land conversion and encroachment from trees and shrubs threaten this vulnerable area.

"We’re so pleased to have received this generous Projects for Nature funding from SSEN and are very excited to start restoring this fen," Professor Jeremy Biggs, CEO of Freshwater Habitats Trust, stated.

He continued: "This funding will enable us to build on Freshwater Habitats Trust’s ongoing commitment to restoring these declining habitats."

The UK is one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world according to the 2023’s State of Nature report.

It states that one in seven of the UK’s native species is at risk of extinction, and two-fifths are experiencing falling populations.

For this reason, halting and reversing this decline necessitates the combined efforts of all sectors.

Justin Francis, chairperson of Projects for Nature, acknowledges SSEN's addition to the initiative.

He explained: "We’re thrilled to welcome SSEN as a founding business partner of Projects for Nature.

"Restoring nature supports biodiversity, provides benefits to local communities, helps sequester carbon, and enhances climate adaptation.

"We welcome SSEN’s leadership and support for these exciting projects."

The partnership with Projects for Nature is just one of many steps SSEN is taking to protect the environment, as the company is also proactively working to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate impacts arising from its operations and supply chains.

This initiative is a testament to SSEN’s commitment to working alongside environmental organisations and the government to promote biodiversity, support local communities, and combat climate change.