03 March 2017 by James Webster
EHM continue to assist Heathrow Airport with their Biodiversity Benchmark Award. EHM provides an on-site Biodiversity Manger to Heathrow Airport as well as managerial support. The work primarily centres on managing around 170ha of off-airport land for which the airport has received the Wildlife Trusts Biodiversity Benchmark Award for the majority of this land. Part of our responsibilities are assisting the airport on the annual Benchmark award audits, independently undertaken by the Wildlife Trusts, by ensuring the criteria of the Benchmark Award are met.
Following an audit the auditor provides a report detailing their findings and noting any observations or areas of improvement. In general we had managed to close out a number of observations from the previous audit. The auditor also includes some general comments about the biodiversity management. Following the previous audit the auditor commented;
“There is an excellent working relationship between staff working for Heathrow Airports Ltd and ecology & habitat management ltd., with staff having been involved in the management of the biodiversity sites for at least eight years. This degree of continuity and level of knowledge of the sites and the management system(s) is not common and is to be praised”.
The auditor was particularly impressed with how we manage invasive species and have established winter safe zones for wildfowl on some of the sites. Noting:
“How the team has identified and is dealing with the management of Invasive Non-native Species, and the designation of a Winter Safe Zone for Smew and other wintering wildfowl at Princes Lakes, is very impressive and both are considered to be examples of best practice”.
Our relationship with Heathrow Airport has been long established and set to continue for the foreseeable future. Being involved with the long-term biodiversity management of the Heathrow Biodiversity Sites has been a very interesting and rewarding project.
If you are interested in more information regarding the Biodiversity Benchmark Award and How we might assist you please do not hesitate to contact us.