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BIG Biodiversity Challenge 2023 Winners

1. Overall winner 2023 prize sponsored by: 

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EMBARGOED
Northey Island Coastal Adaptation Strategy

Northey Island Coastal Adaptation Strategy

National Trust

Judges comments:
The judges felt that this project deserved the Overall Awards because of its scale and ambition. Not only does it looks to tackle climate change and the biodiversity crisis, but it also engages the people who live, work and visit the habitat, while creating a long term biodiversity legacy. Judges felt this project ticked all the boxes- congrats for this well deserved Overall Winner Award!

1. Client-led Project Award winner  sponsored by: 

Great Big Nature Boost

Great Big Nature Boost

Severn Trent

Judges comments:

The judges were impressed by the scale of the Great Big Nature Boost strategy and its recent achievements, enhancing/protecting +7.5k ha for biodiversity. Going beyond Biodiversity Net Gain, Severn Trent championed a culture change among stakeholders and nature partners/charities. The project team also worked on a region-wide data reporting tool to track the effort's progress. A well deserved award!

Highly commended:

Peak District East Visual Impact Provision Project

Peak District East Visual Impact Provision Project

National Grid

Judges comments:

Special mention for the comprehensive measures taken, such as tree retention, habitat enhancement, BNG and sustainable construction practices, demonstrating a strong commitment to environmental continual improvement.

2. Community Engagement Award winner sponsored by: 

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Growing a Greener Estate

Growing a Greener Estate

Trees for Cities (TfC) for Ealing Council

Judges comments:

The judges were impressed by the 'Growing a Greener Estate' project and how it sets an example of strategic thinking to maximise gains for biodiversity and people, especially in the most deprived urban areas. Starting with tree planting and broadening out to a variety of habitats, this effort links habitats and policies for a greater impact, while engaging local communities for stewardship and legacy. 

Highly commended:

Revealing, Reviving and Restoring Great Linford Manor Park

Revealing, Reviving and Restoring Great Linford Manor Park

The Parks Trust

Judges comments:

Special mention for the emphasis on engaging local communities to ensure the stewardship of the newly improved park habitats, as well as the representation of the diverse local population. This  resulted in a friends group and a high number of people reached by the activities, including during Covid to ensure that those that most need it are connecting with nature. 

Closed Churchyards

Closed Churchyards

Cormac Solutions Ltd for Cornwall Council

Judges comments:

Special mention for re-visiting plans that had biodiversity in mind when stakeholders raised concerns, finding a common language that led to a successful pilot, rollout to several locations, while upskilling contractors in this approach. 

 3. Habitat Creation: Project of the Year Award winner 
(Large scale biodiversity enhancement 5ha and above)

 sponsored by:

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Meon Vale

Meon Vale

Tyler Grange Group Limited & St Modwen Homes Limited

Judges comments:

The judges were impressed with the variation of habitas created, leading to the reintroduction of key species. The project achieved an impressive 38% Biodiversity Net Gain and is now a Local Wildlife site. The site now supports several red listed bird species, including Spoonbill, breeding Little Ringed Plover and Skylark. A well deserved award!

Highly commended:

Northey Island Coastal Adaptation Strategy

Northey Island Coastal Adaptation Strategy

National Trust

Judges comments:

Special mention for the amazing large habitat as a result of this project. This effort tackled many issues, including sea level rise, climate change, biodiversity crisis, reuse of waste etc. It resulted in record numbers of brent geese and dunlins.

4. Habitat Creation: Project of the Year Award winner sponsored by:
(Medium scale biodiversity enhancement 0.5-5ha)

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Wetland Habitat Creation area - Sizewell C

Wetland Habitat Creation area - Sizewell C

Arcadis and EDF SZC

Judges comments:

The judges were impressed by this clear and well set out project that sought to go beyond mitigating the impacts on protected species by considering climate adaptation, resilience through habitat buffering and wetland creation to benefit a wider range of species. 

5. Habitat Creation: Project of the Year Award winner sponsored by: 
(Small scale biodiversity enhancement of up to 0.5ha)

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WHIP – Woodland Habitat Improvement Project

WHIP – Woodland Habitat Improvement Project

Harwell Campus in partnership with Adam Frost Design Ltd & Nurture Landscapes Ltd

Judges comments:

The judges were impressed by how the project successfully  upskilled existing land management staff to allign with biodiversity aims, while uplifting the existing woodland for estate-wide benefits. The wider strategy to improve the campus for nature and people (including considering wellbeing for staff) includes the creation of a new Biodiversity Taskforce. 

Highly commended:

Greening the Grey The Creation of a Kiosk Gabion Facade Habitat

Greening the Grey The Creation of a Kiosk Gabion Facade Habitat

Thames Tideway

Judges comments:

Special mention for using the façade of an essential infrastructure building to create novel habitat and biodiversity interest. Usually blended/hidden, this changes how these type of buildings can be utilised in the landscape.

Newlyn Coastal Research and Development Project

Newlyn Coastal Research and Development Project

Environment Agency, Kier, Atkins

Judges comments:

Special mention for the simple measures used to avoid impacts during the construction phase, such as daylight / low-tide working, as well as using low-carbon construction materials, and looking at minimal impact inspection methods -  which shows consideration for biodiversity along the project timeline.

6. Innovation Award winner sponsored by:

The Wilder Blean Project

The Wilder Blean Project

Kent Wildlife Trust and Wildwood Trust

Judges comments:

The judges were impressed by the boldness of the project to enhance existing conifer woodland by using the power of "Nature"  and "Ecosytem Engineers" aka bison to deliver landscape-scale and long-term enhancement  in woodland management. This approach avoids using machinery and thousands of man hours by tapping into a nature-based solution. Judges particularly liked the project's focus on making this method replicable, by identifing ways to simplify the process for future projects. 

Highly commended:

Curry Moor Flood Storage Area

Curry Moor Flood Storage Area

Environment Agency, Atkins, Conservation K9 Consultancy

Judges comments:

Special mention for the innovative use of dogs to detect the prescene of water voles along waterways that otherwise would have been destroyed during the work if surveying was undertaken by humans alone. 

Greening the Grey: The Creation of a Kiosk Gabion Façade Habitat

Greening the Grey: The Creation of a Kiosk Gabion Façade Habitat

Thames Tideway

Judges comments:

Special mention for an innovative design and integration into an urban engineering structure. It is a clear example of how a creative collaboration can bring benefits to biodiversity at the smallest scale, and on the most unlikely structure. There is need to get biodiversity into the everyday and this is an example of just that. 

7. Construction Phase Award winner
No entries received

8. Biodiversity Legacy Award winner sponsored by:

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Northey Island Coastal Adaptation Strategy

Northey Island Coastal Adaptation Strategy

National Trust

Judges comments:

The judges felt this scheme was exceptional for the prevention of the loss of habitat, but also tackled many issues including sea level rise, climate change and biodiversity crisis, securing a legacy for the next 100 years… An extensive monitoring effort is ongoing, including habitat mapping by drone to ensure the right habitat establishes in the long term.

Highly commended:

Closed Churchyards

Closed Churchyards

Cormac Solutions Ltd for Cornwall Council

Judges comments:

Special mention for its focus on maintenance and on bringing the community together.

9. Biodiversity Champion Award winner sponsored by:
Early Career

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Emily Grimes

Emily Grimes

JLL

Judges comments:

The judges were impressed by Emily's day job not being purely environmental. This means that a lot of what she has achieved and sought out in terms of knowledge has been by her own volition, which is incredibly impressive.

10. Biodiversity Champion Award winner sponsored by:
Established professional

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Melissa Ralph

Melissa Ralph

Cornwall Council

Judges comments:

The judges were impressed by the scale of Melissa's projects reach. Melissa's leadership has led to the creation of diverse habitats in deprived communities, increased pollinator species, and the transformation of greenspaces into cherished wildlife habitats.

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