KTP Case Study: Gloucester Wildlife Trust

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The Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) scheme is a UK-wide programme helping businesses to improve competitiveness and productivity. A recent graduate is placed within an organisation to help solve a business problem, with access to our academic expertise.

The below case study is from our KTP with Gloucester Wildlife Trust:

Key Facts

  • Shortlisted for Best Knowledge Transfer Partnership Award at the KTP Best of the Best Awards 2019
  • Won the Sir Peter Hall Award for Wider Engagement in the Royal Town Planning Institute’s Research Excellence Awards in 2018
  • Delivery of the first ever green infrastructure benchmark, ‘Building with Nature’ (BwN)
  • BwN benchmarked new developments totaling over 30,000 homes
  • Publication of technical guidance documents and articles in trade publications
  • New subsidiary company created to monetise GWT’s expertise

KTP Benefits

KTP’s are designed to benefit everyone involved:

  • Businesses acquire new knowledge and expertise
  • KTP Associates gain business based experience and personal and professional development opportunities
  • Universities, colleges or research organisations bring their expertise and enhance the business relevance of their research and teaching

The Challenge

Recognising the challenge in delivering the green infrastructure policy alongside the need to build over 200,000 new homes every year, this KTP was designed to develop a commercially viable model to support the delivery of new homes without compromising the quality of the natural environment
and the well-being of citizens. Whilst GWT had a wealth of expertise in the green infrastructure agenda, they wanted to explore ways to enhance their influence on the quality of the built and natural environment.

The Company

Gloucester Wildlife Trust is the leading organisation working to protect wildlife, providing expertise in everything from wildlife advice to ecological consultancy. Gloucester Wildlife Trust manages 60 nature reserves in the South West, covering 1011 hectares of land.

GWT believes that “Nature has the power to enrich and improve our lives. We believe nature has much to offer us and holds the solution for many of the issues we are dealing with today. Making it more resilient has benefits not only for wildlife, but also for people, communities, businesses, planners, developers, health and social care services in the county. If we look after it, it will look after us.

Even when there is no obvious benefit to people, we will stand up for wildlife when key habitats and species are threatened. We will improve housing and commercial developments for wildlife using our Green Infrastructure Benchmark, Building with Nature.

By 2022 ten new developments will have achieved the Benchmark, our initiative to recognise developers who benefit wildlife in their planning.”

The Project

The KTP aimed to formalise GWT’s role in advising Local Authorities and the development sector on the impact of development on nature conservation. The project established a new benchmark for green infrastructure offering consistent technical information on key features, and a quality rating to incentivise and reward developers for high quality green infrastructure.

The KTP Associate Dr Gemma Jerome, supported by Professor Danni Sinnett, Director of the Centre for Sustainable Planning and Environments, collated evidence and expertise from researchers, planners, developers, built environment professionals and ecologists to create standards, technical guidance, implementation framework and award criteria. The “Building with Nature” (BwN) benchmark was piloted in several developments, including Gloucester Motorway Services and housing schemes, and with Local Authority policies. Building with Nature was launched in November 2017.

The KTP has had a transformational impact on GWT. It has triggered a complete turnaround in its approach to the built environment and the quality of its engagement with planners and developers. The Trust has morphed from being largely reactive to proactively engaging with the development community.

Additionally, BwN has been used in developments in Scotland, Cornwall, Devon, London and Hampshire, far beyond GWT’s own geographical area and the new BwN subsidiary company is currently working with numerous local authorities to develop green infrastructure planning policies.

“The KTP process has been transformative for our Company, creating products and services that support delivery of our core mission”

Roger Mortlock, CEO, Gloucester Wildlife Trust

Download the full case study here:

This partnership received financial support from the Knowledge Transfer Partnerships programme (KTP).  KTP aims to help businesses to improve their competitiveness and productivity through the better use of knowledge, technology and skills that reside within the UK knowledge base.  This successful Knowledge Transfer Partnership project, funded by UK Research and Innovation through Innovate UK, is part of the government’s Industrial Strategy.

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