Preserving and conserving wildlife and habitats connected to watercress
The Vitacress Conservation Trust (VCT) is a charitable organisation that was set up in 2006 to focus on environmental initiatives associated with salad and watercress crop production. We work closely with like-minded organisations such as The Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust and the University of Southampton.
We are committed to creating and building a Conservation Trust that really does make a difference. By improving and protecting the special habitats we are privileged to work in and around, we aim to make them better understood by, and accessible to, the public – especially our local schools.
The VCT was formed by Vitacress Salads in 2007 to give direction and structure to the company’s ambitions. Vitacress aims to not only produce its salad offerings in an environmentally responsible and sustainable way, but to better understand the ecosystems in which it operates and to use that understanding to enhance them, increasing rather than just protecting biodiversity. Visit website
University of Southampton
Vitacress Salads has a long standing relationship with the University of Southampton, supporting research to improve the safety, quality and health benefits of its products. The core of this research is led by Professor Gail Taylor who heads the Vitacress Research Unit in the School of Biological Sciences. Professor Taylor is also active in environmental research, recently assisting the VCT in a wide ranging collaboration with the University’s Centre for Environmental Science. Visit website
Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust
HIOWWT is the only conservation charity committed to improving conditions for all wildlife in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. They manage over 46 nature reserves as part of a vision to create ‘Living Landscapes’ for the future.
The VCT identified an opportunity to partly meet its objective of disseminating conservation information to schools, other educational institutions and members of conservation bodies through sponsorship of the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust’s Wildlife Watch Groups – their junior branch and the UK’s leading club for young environmentalists. Visit website
The VCT is keen to build its educational links to help to inform and inspire younger generations as well as new entrants/career changers as to the value of sustainable production and biodiversity. Sparsholt College is an obvious partner in that regard and we were delighted when its Principal Tim Jackson agreed to become a trustee, strengthening the Trust’s educational expertise and facilitating collaborative projects with the students. Visit website