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Competition entries

Entries for the BIG Challenge Awards 2014 are now closed, thanks to all who submitted case studies.

All the biodiversity enhancements are featured on this page - click to read the full case study. 

Make a home for wildlife


LUC involved their staff in the "Make a home for wildlife" competition: the staff had to create insect boxes suitable for the wildlife which would then be installed on the offices roof garden.

Minibeasts mansion

Network Rail

Staff from Network Rail engaged the local nursery pupils to help them build a structure which provided habitat for invertebrates, insects and birds.

It's a bugs life

Kier Construction

This innovative idea included a scrap heap challenge to create bug hotels. The project worked with a local charity to design and build the bug hotels which will then be placed on the top of one of the roofs in the Kings Cross development. 

Finding space for nature

Willmott Dixon

This Willmott Dixon project incorporates Bat Boxes into the façade. It demonstrates that with a bit of thought and planning, it is possible to provide and create spaces for nature within projects and it further demonstrates that it doesn’t have to cost the earth.

Greening the grey

Kier Construction

With an innovative "do it yourself" enhancement Kier Construction converted a grey concrete batter in to a green wall. The wall creates spaces for nature and improves the amenity of the site and the quality of community relationship.

Engaging local schools

BAM Construction

BAM Construction's conducted site tours to enhance children's awareness of biodiversity and sustainability. The tours included games and open air activities on ecological protection measures, animal species identification and alternative energy technologies.

Finding opportunities for biodiversity enhancements

Cheetham Hill Construction / MRWDA

Cheetham Hill Construction created 2000sm of trees and wildflower meadows increasing the ecological value by 60%.

Re-use of plants on the site


To save the plants that had to be removed from the borders of the site, Keepmoat staff used materials found on site to create planters where the plants could be replanted on the site.

Bat Hibernation Roosts

London Underground

London Underground was working in collaboration with London Borough of Haringey, London Bat Group, SITA Trust to create hibernation roosts for bats in two disused tunnels at Highgate station.

Farringdon station Brown roof

Network Rail, Atkins

As part of the Thameslink programme Farringdon Station has been provided with 700sm of an innovative brown roof which is an optimum habitat for invertebrates and micro-organisms and a potential feeding ground for Black Redstarts.

A Biodiversity area in the site compound

Morgan Sindall

A biodiversity area was established in the site compound. This included bird boxes and feeders, insect houses and flowering plants. The planting activities were carried out with help from children at a local school.

52 Hibernacula created


The A43 Corby Link Road is a 6.5km road currently under construction in Northamptonshire. This enhancement reused ‘waste’ brash on site to have a positive impact on the local biodiversity. 100 tonnes of brash was left over and was to be chipped on site but instead it has been used in the creation of 52 hibernacular along the length of scheme.

Spiral garden

Network Rail, Skanska

To engage the local community, Network Rail staff members worked together with local residents to create plant boxes and a rock garden. The planters, planted by local students, will provide scents and a new habitat for wildlife.


Bio-engineering solutions

Network Rail

Because of Atlantic storms a sea cliff suffered a landslip which engulfed the railway line: Network Rail is undertaking multiple bio-engineering measures that will stabilise the cliff and provide new green areas as well.

Truro Eastern District Centre


A viewing platform within the Truro Eastern District Centre will be the place for many educational activities concerning history of the site, environmental concerns and construction impact mitigation.

Respecting fauna and phenological cycles

Brookfield Multiplex

Brookfield Multiplex planned the construction activities to respect the phenological cycles of protected species and ensured the boundary between site works and green areas did not restrict wildlife. Also, they installed bat boxes both in the building and on the surrounding trees.


Creating a school garden with students

BAM Construction

BAM worked with the pupils of the Haslucks Green Junior School to create a garden with several enhancements. The garden will be a learning tool to raise children's awareness on biodiversity and recycling.


Protecting birds and trees


At the Nuffield Health site Simons set up strategies to protect the existing trees and hedges and to keep birds supported during the construction activities.

Recycling flowers and plants


Interserve employees volunteered to recycle plants and materials from the Chelsea Flower Show and create planters and bed flowers in community gardens.

New habitat for the tansy beetle

Galliford Try

Galliford Try planted 100 tansy plants to narrow the distance between tansy plant clumps and enhance planting already completed by The Conservation Volunteers. This enhancement will provide new habitat for the tansy beetle which is one of Britain’s most endangered insect species.

Providing habitat for insects and reptiles

Galliford Try

In Sheffield, Galliford Try used site won materials and waste to provide habitat for reptiles, bugs and invertebrates. They also purchased products in local activities to provide the site with a rain garden and a bird table.

New homes for swifts

Taylor Woodrow and BAM Nuttall JV

Taylor Woodrow and BAM Nuttall Joint Venture installed new homes for swifts on the top of Tottenham Court Road Station. Micro-speakers placed inside the bird boxes will attract swifts to their new homes. Bee hotels have been installed too.


A haven for wildlife and shoppers alike

Marks and Spencer

Cheshire Oaks is M&S's greenest store. Its biodiversity features - comprising green living walls, a pond and wetland area, hedgerows and wildflowers - will provide habitat for bats, birds and invertebrates and raise customers' awareness.


Bee hives in Holborn

London Underground

London Underground placed two Honey bee hives on the top of their offices in Holborn Station. Bees will pollinate the flowers in the adjacent parks and produce honey to be sold to fund hives maintenance.

150 Homes for Nature

London Underground

To celebrate its 150 years London Underground worked together with Oaks Park High School to create a wildlife garden. The students and LU team planted 150 saplings and whips and installed bug hotels, bird boxes and hogitats.

Getting Simply more sustainable

Marks and Spencer

M&S launched a series of retrofit plans to provide its stores with eco features including green living walls, which are usually particularly appreciated by customers. Green walls plants were selected at each store both for their ecological biodiversity and their suitability to site conditions.

Plan Bee

Marks and Spencer

M&S worked to improve the ecological value of the outdoor areas of their offices in Stockley Park: the project included picnic benches, wildflowers meadows and planters with herbs. Also, they installed a honey bee hive which is maintained by a group of bee enthusiasts.

Greening our Office the Plan A Way

Marks and Spencer

M&S transformed the balconies of their offices in Paddington into green roofs. They also planted an extensive herb garden and installed an insect hotel next to a seating area so that people are able to get up close to nature.


Vegetable planters


Simons used debris found on site to manufacture vegetable planters which were planted with lettuces and radish for a fast result. The team also plans to transplant some bio diverse topsoil and turf as starter wildlife gardens over the winter.


Improving appearance with a herb garden

BAM Construction

BAM Construction planted a herb garden to improve the appearance of the Sir Charles Kao UTC site compound. The herb garden was then developed by creating planters with surplus timber, welly boots and paint tubs.


Delivering workshops on wildlife

Kier Construction

Kier Construction worked with a local school to deliver workshops on "wildlife and the environment" to the pupils, who were engaged in many activities including making bird feeders and dissecting owl pallets.


An increased biodiverse roof for free

Sir Robert McAlpine

Sir Robert McAlpine made a significant effort in the design stage to go beyond the minimum requirements of the environmental assessments and install an increased area of biodiverse roof with no cost implication.

Providing homes for UKBAP species

Morgan Sindall

Morgan Sindall enhanced biodiversity in their site in Liverpool by providing permanent nesting opportunities for UKBAP species. Such measure was complemented with wildflower meadows and a bug hotel.

Discovering what birds like to eat

Kier Construction

Children from a local school in Port Talbot were involved by Kier Construction in several activities concerning wildlife. Bird feeders made by the pupils were hung up in the area and an owl box was sponsored on behalf of the school.

Helping wildlife with a biodiverse roof

Sir Robert McAlpine

On the roof of the AirW1 development, Sir Robert McAlpine created a biodiverse roof which includes wildflowers, herbs, bird boxes and bee hives. They also involved local children
to build insect hotels to be installed on the roof.

Site garden in King's Cross

BAM Construction

BAM Construction set up a temporary garden at their site in King's Cross. As the construction came to completion, the team gave the planters to the BAM team refurbishing the Fish and Coal Buildings in order to continue the biodiversity enhancement.

Park Federation School garden

Morgan Sindall

Morgan Sindall team created a place where the students could learn about sustainability, the environment and biodiversity. Trees, planters with strawberry plants and flowers and insect houses were provided to the site.

New habitat for birds

BAM Construction

The BAM team installed bird boxes and bird feeders on a grassy area of the Harris Academy Greenwich site compound in London.

Wildflower roof in Nottingham

Morgan Sindall

Morgan Sindall is installing a wildflower roof in his GlaxoSmithKline Carbon Neutral Laboratory in Nottingham. An insect hotel has also been created to provide habitat for insects and bugs.

Peregrine Falcon nest boxes in London

Sir Robert McAlpine

Sir Robert McAlpine will add Peregrine Falcon nest boxes on their building at 70 Mark Lane. Peregrine Falcons boxes should be placed above heights of 30m, so installing the boxes on the top of this building will provide an ideal habitat.


Chopsticks bird boxes

Morgan Sindall

Morgan Sindall team worked with Chopsticks, a local charity, to construct a number of bird boxes with timber found on site. Some of the bird boxes have been donated to local community groups.

Creating a site garden with students

BAM Construction

The BAM project manager engaged with a local school to help create a welcoming site entrance and a skip garden, which will be maintained by the students. Bird boxes were also installed during the National Bird Nest Week.

A garden to attract bees

BAM Nuttall

BAM Nuttall created a wet garden and worked with the local primary school in Kilsyth to plant wild flowers and fruit trees to attract insects and bees. Two bee hives, installed next to the orchard, will provide homes for bees as well as an educational tool for the local school children.

Turning the red river blue

Environment Agency

The Environment Agency restored 350m of River Medlock corridor: the works involved removing the bricks and the concrete ledge from the channel and introducing stones to create a natural environment and allow fishes and aquatic invertebrates to return to the corridor.

A garden for the community


Keepmoat worked with Places for People to improve the garden used by the local community in Newcastle. The team built a bug hotel, 4 bee houses and a bird box and sown flower seeds.

'No net loss' for biodiversity

Parsons Brinckerhoff, Balfour Beatty

To achieve their target of "No net loss" for biodiversity, Parsons Brinckerhoff and Balfour Beatty worked with the Royal Borough of Greenwich to plant trees in one of the green areas nearby the site.


Enhancing long term benefits for biodiversity

BAM Nuttall

BAM Nuttall incorporated mammal and fish passage in their project for the Border Rail. Badger setts, otter ledges, baffle fishways and burrows for Sand Martin were created on site. They also installed bat and bird boxes and planted wildflower meadows.

A garden in the school's roof

Sir Robert McAlpine

Sir Robert McAlpine installed a green and brown roof and bird and bat boxes to enhance the long term biodiversity of the area. They also planted a garden on the roof of a school to attract bees and butterflies.

Olympia kitchen Garden

Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea

The RBKC created a community kitchen garden, which included 89 raised vegetable plots that can be used by local residents to grow vegetables, fruit and flowers. Free gardening advice will be provided to support and encourage plot holders.



BAM Nuttall

BAM Nuttall relocated young tree seedlings to increase environmental awareness and the protection of local wildlife on site.

Greenwich Square


The project will provide nearly 8,000m2 of new biodiverse soft landscaping once completed, including extensive green roofs, community and private gardens, bird boxes and log piles.

Inside the box


Thinking “Inside the Box” consists of a mini green space created within the boundaries of the Believe in Better Building site. The “Inside the box” project was the winner of the World Environment Day Competition that Mace held for the project teams in June 2014.


Market Street

Morgan Sindall

Seven bird boxes were installed to provide nesting opportunities for black redstarts, dunnock, starling and house sparrow.

Respite Unit

Morgan Sindall

Morgan Sindall implimented tree protection, bird boxes, bat boxes, bug boxes and an insect hotel on this Respite Unit. They also engaged with the community throughout to encourage them to carry out their own ecology and biodiversity projects.

Earlham Primary School

Morgan Sindall

After noticing the lack of small bird activity in the area, Morgan Sindall has installed various bird boxes and roosting pouches. This helped to attract small House and Tree Sparrows, Blue and Great Tits, Nuthatches and Robins on site.


Woodgrange Infant School

Morgan Sindall

Planting boxes have been placed in the site area to encourage local wildlife and utilise  existing plants. These will encourage bee populations and provide the children with experience of planting and maintaining plants and shrubs.

Steeple Bumpstead FRM

Environment Agency, Royal HaskoningDHV

In addition to managing flood risk, this project focused on the river restoration and ecological improvements. Gravel bed material and baffles were added to the channel, native species and trees were planted and bird and bat boxes were installed in the surrounding areas.

Berryfields Western Link Road


Kier included wildlife protection and habitat creation principles in the project. Badger fencing, mammal passes, ponds for great crested newt colonies and reptile hibernacula were implemented within the site.

Godwin Junior School

Morgan Sindall

Bird boxes have been installed in the site to attract some of the smaller bird species in the area, such as Tree Sparrows, Blue and Great Tits, Nuthatches and Robins.

LNR tree donation

Morgan Sindall

250 tree saplings were translocated to Foxglove Covert Local Nature Reserve (LNR) near the project to enhance biodiversity in the project surroundings. The saplings were all native UK species and were required to be cleared to allow construction of the new road.

Connah’s Quay

Morgan Sindall

As it was necessary to remove the existing grassland, trees and shrubs for works to proceed, Morgan Sindall team worked to  re-establish a new yet temporary facility to cultivate some nature. Off-cuts were so used to fabricate a number of flower boxes and to construct a bird table too.

A1L2B pollinator corridor

Morgan Sindall

The A1L2B team has created a wildlife corridor through the donation of over 350 trees and hedgerow plants. These have improved the habitat for bees and birds which will be attracted and pollinate other planted areas nearby.

Kidbrooke Village

Berkeley Home

As part of their Kidbrooke Village development, Berkeley homes retained existing mature trees, planted over a thousand new trees. They plan to plant a further 1,000 more mature trees over the lifespan of the project. Trees were planted with the London Wildlife Trust and a local school, which were also involved in an ecology lesson.

Panshanger Park

Lafarge Tarmac

A People and Wildlife Officer was employed to interact with visitors to the park, lead wildlife tours and organise volunteer work parties for scrub clearance and habitat creation.

Manor Lane bath tubs garden

United House

The site team engaged with the local community to create a local garden reusing bath tubs as raised planters. Local people were then encouraged to grow their own flowers

and vegetables. 

Bat houses at the Royal Arthur Park

Morgan Sindall

Two bat houses – one wet and one dry - were built on top of the old nuclear bunkers in Corsham to support a large colony of bats. The team also installed owl boxes and created wildflower areas and ponds.

A1L2B pond dipping

Morgan Sindall

The aquatic wildlife from a pond that requried draining and infilling was donated to a nearby pond owned by a local nursery. A pond dipping session was delivered to local children who learned about the various species in the pond.

Old Hutton bug hotel


Murphy worked with local pupils to build a bug hotel. This provided habitat for invertebrates as well as a learning opportunity for the children.

FSN397 apiaries


Apiaries were set up at Llandudno Junction and Aberystwyth and maintenance plans were implemented to encourage the growth of pollinating wild flowers. These will attract and create a perfect habitat for the bees populating the bee hives within the sites.

Helping biodiversity take off in West London

Heathrow Airport

A new base for the charity Green Corridor has been created in an abandoned area owned by Heathrow. The base includes a training facility, a nursery for native species and a horticulture centre.

Building bug hotels with school children

Sir Robert McAlpine

Sir Robert McAlpine installed a bug hotel on their site and encouraged local schools to build their own ones. Educational sessions on insects and bug hotels were also delivered to children.

Alternative drinking facilities for cattle

Morgan Sindall

The project team liaised with the local farmers in Hinckley to move water troughs and provide cattle with alternative drinking facilities. Planters were also installed outside the house.

Intertidal habitat on Barking Creek

Morgan Sindall

To compensate for disturbance from piling works, the team created hibernacula and an intertidal habitat for invertebrates and juvenile fish.

The Hotspot

Morgan Sindall

28 trees and plants were planted at The Hotspot to attract wildlife. An insect hotel and bird boxes were also installed to provide further habitat.

Green screens help air pollution

Network Rail, Skanska

During the work of the Borough Viaduct the site had 35m of living green screens. These enhance biodiversity and improve air quality and the amenity of the area.

Improving the natural riverbank

Morgan Sindall

The team assisted the Canals and Rivers Trust in the improvement of a section of the natural riverbank on the Bow Back River. Invasive plants and litter were removed and native plants were planted.

Pudding Mill Lane

Morgan Sindall

Planters and bird tables have been constructed on site to enhance the appearance of the site and attract birds.

Hibernaculum bund in Oxford


Local records showing presence of snakes and worms on site encouraged the team to build hibernacula, which was covered with soil and seeded with local plant species.

Canterbury College

Morgan Sindall

Tree retention and additional planting have been implemented at the site. The site team has also monitored bird activities and installed bird boxes.

A flower garden at the site entrance

Sir Robert McAlpine

Sir Robert McAlpine involved local students to enhance the site entrance, which included planting flowers and installing hanging baskets. A wildlife pond was also created in the school grounds.


Attracting dormice to the site

Morgan Sindall

10 dormouse boxes have been installed at Mitcheldean WTW to compensate for the removal of woodland area.

Oxford FTL

Morgan Sindall

The site compound has been provided with biodiversity areas which included bird boxes, bird feeders and flower planters.

Scarborough Scrape

Morgan Sindall

The project restored a scrape which provided feeding grounds for wading birds. During construction the team worked with RSPB to minimise disturbance to the Peregrine Falcons living in the area.

Greenburn Conservation Management


Kier involved a local school in the design of an ecological area including badger setts, otter holts, pond areas, bird and bat boxes and woodland.

Mitigating disruption to GCN

Morgan Sindall

To mitigate disruption to the population of great crested newts, the team enhanced 5 ponds and constructed 11 hibernacula.

River Nith Diversion


Kier worked with CRESS and liaised with environmental stakeholders to design a river diversion which aimed at the creation and enhancement of natural habitat.

St Asaph 400kV Grid Supply Point

Morgan Sindall

Open trench techniques were supposed to be used  to construct a sections of the cable route. After realising  that this technique would have encroached into the canopy of tress and below ground tree roots, the site team adopted an underground horizontal drilling technology, thus significantly reducing the impact to the green fields.

Eco-garden at White Waltham Depot


An Eco-garden has been built within the White Waltham depot by reusing material from site. The garden included bee hives, bird boxes and baths and flower beds.

Biodiversity area at Victoria Dock Portal

Taylor Woodrow

A biodiversity area including flower planters and hanging baskets has been created to spruce up the welfare area of the Victoria Dock Portal site.

Bat barn

Hochtief Taylor Woodrow Joint Venture

A bat barn was built as part of the Bexhill to Hastings Link Road. The barn, which includes several specific in-built features for bats, was created to ensure long-term roosts and breeding locations.

Bringing site to schools

Hochtief Taylor Woodrow Joint Venture

Pupils aged 5 to 11 have been involved in a school assembly, individual class presentations and a site visit to show the measures undertaken to protect and enhance biodiversity. 

Relocation at badger Sett 55

Hochtief Taylor Woodrow Joint Venture

A trapping and ‘live dig’ exercise was planned to remove the badgers quickly and safely from the site. The 15 badgers trapped were then relocated.

Community Orchard

Trees for cities

A community orchard has been planted with fruit trees, wild flowers and native plants. Planting activities have been carried out together with EastendHomes and local residents.

Todmorden Water Flood Alleviation Scheme


The local community was involved in the enhancement of the area. This included fruit trees, flowers, bat boxes and bug hotels being added to the site in Todmorden.

The Elms


The local community has been involved in the decoration of the site hoardings with an environmental theme.

Ferry Lane


The team used railway sleepers to create a garden used by over 80 residents and planted a "Wildlife Corridor" that includes signs on local wildlife and flora.

Populating And Pollinating Pirbright’s Pastures

The Pirbright Institute

The Pirbright Institute have committed to increasing the biodiversity present on the site. Four mini-projects were implemented to provide habitat to reptiles, insects, birds and bees.

School engagement in biodiversity


Redrow gave a presentation on biodiversity and sustainability to school children to influence their future attitudes towards biodiversity in a positive way.

Bug hotels at Keepmoat’s sites


Keepmoat teams built bug homes with waste materials. One of these went up for sale and was sold straight away.

Innovative Bird Box

Barhale Trant Utillities

BTU used innovative bird boxes to provide a GSM link between the monitoring sensor and the telemetry system, whilst providing a biodiversity opportunity for nesting birds.

Compton Park


The sustainable drainage scheme included in the project was enhanced with native plants, bird and bat boxes and an educational viewing platform.

Newton Le Willows


The project comprised several biodiversity features, including tree and shrub planting and bird and bat boxes.

Artificial rockpools

Gwynedd County Council, Marine Ecological Solutions, Aberystwyth Uni, Bangor Uni, KESS, SMS Wales

The team created artificial rockpools in a new coastal defence breakwater in Wales to make it more like a natural habitat and to enhance the associated marine biodiversity.

Surrey Lane

Lend Lease

Saved timber has been used to create log piles and planters. Flowers and vegetables were planted by local pupils, who continue to water and nurture them.

Ykids School Garden


Redrow and Ykids transformed an abandoned outside area into a blooming school garden comprising trees, bird nests and boxed gardens.

Community event at Lindley Grove


Keepmoat involved the local community in the construction of hanging baskets, bug boxes and bird feeders which will be installed in the clients houses.

Bat ‘Hotel’ at Sudbrook


A special bat building has been built to compensate the demolition of the buildings used by roosting bats. Specific bat-related features have been included in a bat “hotel”.

Restoration of an old agricultural reservoir

Barhale Trant Utillities

A heavily silted agricultural reservoir has been cleaned and planted with aquatic plants to provide habitat for Great crested newts and reptiles.

Rennie Estate communal garden


Keepmoat sectioned an area off on the Rennie Estate site to turn this into a garden for the residents. Hoardings were then painted by residents to spruce them up a bit.

Sterte Court


The project involved building a compost area, bug hotel and planting of the topsoil pile with wild flowers. Further planting activities and bird boxes construction will be undertaken during the residents’ day.

Hibernaculum at Thornwell School

Willmott Dixon

Willmott Dixon built a hibernaculum in Thornwell School’s wildlife area using rubble, bricks and logs. The construction of the hibernaculum was then discussed with the school’s Eco Club.

Elephant and Castle Regeneration

Lend Lease

Recycled timber was used to create totem poles, spoon carvings and an insect hotel during community engagement activities.

Biodiversity enhancements at Elephant and Castle

Lend Lease

Lend Lease worked with London Wildlife Trust to carry out a biodiversity survey prior to construction, deliver lessons on the environment to local pupils and install a green wall on the hoardings.

Redrow Green


Redrow published a book to teach pupils about nature, habitat and biodiversity in a child-friendly way. Over 4,000 pupils have already received a copy of the book.

Brentford Lock buffer strip

Willmott Dixon

Willmott Dixon planted a buffer strip with wildflowers to attract pollinators, as well as to engage with the commercial residents opposite the site.

Byker Community Garden


Keepmoat worked with The Youth Project Team, St. Michael’s Church and the YMCA to build a community garden, which includes two bug hotels and raised flower and vegetable beds built with recycled timber.

M&S Monks Cross

Mc Laughlin & Harvey with Marks & Spencer

The M&S store in Monks Cross included 172sm green wall, a woodland area and biodiversity talks to schools.

Brentford Lock allotments

Willmott Dixon

The team worked to relocate and re-establish the existing allotment areas and to build new temporary allotments for the local community. 

Green roofs on Ruislip Depot

London Underground

London Underground retrofits the UK’s first green roof on an operational railway depot.

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