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BIG Biodiversity Challenge 2019: The Winners

BIG Biodiversity Champion 2019

Andrew Gladwin, Willmott Dixon


Project nominated for: Cotton End Forest School 


Nominated by: Stephanie Hensman, Willmott Dixon


Find out more about Andrew Gladwin our BIG Biodiversity Champion 2019!

Overall winner 2019 prize sponsored by 

Cormac Solutions Ltd for Cornwall Council


Green Infrastructure for Growth


Cornwall Council’s 2015 Environmental Growth Strategy identified that protection of the environment is no longer enough and that it needs to be invested in and grown. Green Infrastructure for Growth has led the way in environmental net gain and worked with local communities to re-think areas of our green space.

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Client Award sponsored by 

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks  


Caithness Moray HVDC Biodiversity


A collection of biodiversity initiatives undertaken by the developer, SSEN on both Caithness-Moray HVDC convertor stations.  At Spittal substation a combination of wildflower seeding, tree and scrub planting, and a newly created wetland ecosystem with enhanced SUDS channel. Blackhillock focussed on a small area implementing a range of habitat features.



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Community Engagement Award sponsored by 

Thames Water/Ambitious about Autism and TreeHouse School, Arcadis and others


Project Saplings


Thames Water granted (on a peppercorn lease in 2014) a plot of land to TreeHouse School (operated by the charity Ambitious about Autism (AAA)). Project Saplings, created a safe space for people with autism aged 4 to 25 to learn and practice horticulture and benefit from ecotherapy while managing and enhancing the biodiversity of the plot.


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Project of the Year - medium/large scale Award sponsored by 

Cormac Solutions Ltd for Cornwall Council


Green Infrastructure For Growth (GI4G)


Public urban spaces within 7 towns have been improved so that they are of greater benefit to people and wildlife. Improvements have included planting wildflower meadows, trees, orchards, pollinator friendly flower beds and pond creation. The target was to enhance 35Ha of public urban spaces, however 40Ha has been realised. The project has provided opportunities for community engagement and education across the towns.

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Project of the Year - small scale Award 

Redrow Homes


White Lion Nature Reserve


Redrow’s Heritage Park development comprises of 55 high-quality family homes and a popular 0.8 hectare Nature Reserve, maintained by the Amphibian and Reptile Trust with nature and people in mind. The development was shaped by the surrounding natural environment, and carefully landscaped and cultivated to preserve wildlife habitats and enhance biodiversity.

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Innovation Award sponsored by 

Bournemouth University for Scarborough Borough Council


Runswick Bay Ecological Enhancement & Coastal Defence Scheme


The scheme included the placement of 9,500 tonnes of granite rock armour to protect 250 m of frontage & 113 properties. Collaboration between ecologists, engineers and coastal managers created 70 artificial rock pools in the granite armour stone and a further 20 natural pools were created through informed positioning of boulders.

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Biodiversity Legacy Award  

Heathrow Airport Ltd


Princes Lakes 


The project was implemented via an existing biodiversity management system that Heathrow has invested in over the years. Heathrow Airport created water quality improvement infrastructure on site. The team improved the site for local wildlife creating a large area of ecologically diverse habitats and developed a holistic approach to biodiversity management. This project involved  an on-going programme of biodiversity enhancement implemented by a dedicated and qualified team.


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Pollinator Award sponsored by

Kier, ATM and Highways England


Turning A Roads into Bee Routes 


Species rich grassland creation. Based on targeted sites surveys, detailed habitat connectivity modelling, practicality and value for money, an area of 5.9 hectares of roadside verges were selected and enhanced by the planting of bespoke wildflower seed mixes in along the A38 in Devon. The project aimed to increase habitat connectivity by linking species rich grasslands, sustain and increase pollinator populations and other invertebrates and increase resilience of terrestrial wildlife for the long term.

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Construction Phase Award 

Siemens Mobility Ltd, Rail Electrification & Network Rail

Sussex Power Supply Upgrade


Siemens was awarded a contract by Network Rail to renew and upgrade an electrical substation at Whyteleafe South in Surrey. The site was surrounded by mature woodland habitat on three sides and the railway on the fourth. The remit involved constructing a heavy access road through the neighbouring environmentally sensitive woodland.

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Get involved with CIRIA research:

Working with our members and the wider industry, we have delivered over 1,000 collaborative projects, providing authoritative guidance and helping to solve common industry challenges. Our varied programme of research projects encourage industry collaboration and help improve the quality, efficiency, cost effectiveness and safety of the modern built environment. Current research proposals covering biodiversity issues include:


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