On 15th September 2021, CIRIA (Construction Industry Research and Information Association) hosted their awards ceremony for the 2021 (Biodiversity Interest Group) BIG Biodiversity Challenge. Since 2013 when the award began, there have been over 700 cases entered among a variety of categories.
In 2019, our client Heathrow Airport entered for the award, and you can read all about this on our previous post here. This year, they entered again. Of all the entries this year, each of our client’s 3 entries was shortlisted for an award, and we are proud to say that they achieved the winning entry in one of them.
Their winning entry was for the Client-led Award category, with praise from the judges on the “long-term commitment and levels of enthusiasm for very high quality ecological mitigation and management at scale.”
The works being submitted for the award were based on the integrated management system, and team, for the retention and enhancement of biodiversity around the client’s 170ha of off-airport landholdings. The submission told of aspects from practical management in grazing and habitats to the engagement with local and internal groups to encourage knowledge and passion for the future.
Much of the work outlined in the award submission are carried out on behalf of the client, either from ourselves or sub-contractors. We are exceedingly proud to have been able to deliver the quality of work commisioned by the client that they have been recognised for with this award.
The other 2 short-listed entries by the client were Habitat Creation: Small scale (<5ha) and the Pollinator Award.
The Habitat Creation entry highlighted the efforts of the client in providing improvements and benefits to wildlife and biodiversity whilst constructing an industry-leading project to improve the water quality of airport run-off. The sites with which this project engaged are 2 which we, as a team, manage for the client, including habitats such as wet woodland, meadow, lake and dry woodland. We have been involved with most aspects of the planning and delivery of anything biodiversity related on this project.
The second entry, the Pollinator Award, was submitted by Heathrow, on behalf of Heathrow Rail, for the site creation at ProLogis Park. This was a car-park with a difference: whilst space has been allocated for vehicles as required, the neighbouring pond and green habitats have been fortified with the creation of an orchard (full of native and local varieties of pear, apple and plum) with a native and diverse wildflower meadow beneath. From the start, we have been involved, and are proud to say that the progress and establishment of the new habitats has been strong and eager.
Whilst the awards ceremony was held remotely this year due to ongoing Covid precautions, we were pleased to form part of the audience for this wonderful award ceremony. There were fantastic talks from spokespeople from Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Trees for Cities and SustMemes. We would just like to thank all of the judges who spent precious time considering the works put forward, and to the sponsors of each category who enable this initiative to go ahead. And, of course, an enourmous congratulations to each category winner, short-listed entry and the overall winner of this years’ BIG Biodiversity Challenge!