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The BIG Biodiversity Challenge to 'do one thing' invites the construction industry to add at least one new biodiversity enhancement to construction sites, developments or existing buildings.


The BIG Biodiversity Challenge started as a CIRIA Biodiversity Interest Group (BIG) initiative, launched on 14 October 2013. Since its launch in 2013 the Challenge has grown considerably and attracts organisations from across a wide range of stakeholder groups.

In 2022, the Biodiversity Interest Group evolved into a Community of Practice (CoP), aimed at growing support for the implementation of biodiversity net gain principles. Going forward the CoP will oversee the delivery of the BIG Biodiversity Challenge and Awards.

The Challenge aims to:


  • Raise awareness of the importance of protecting and enhancing biodiversity in the built environment to all those who work in the construction industry.

  • Encourage construction teams to collaborate with local communities to ensure long term awareness and protection of local biodiversity.

  • Promote the integration of biodiversity in green infrastructure initiatives.

  • Support the targets of Biodiversity 2020 strategy in the built environment.


"Nature in the UK is in trouble, but the small and large changes we make together do make a difference for our wildlife – whether its integrating swift bricks into buildings, softening the design of new developments with nature in mind, or major landscape scale restoration at mineral extraction sites. I'm delighted to see how much the BIG Biodiversity Challenge is gaining momentum – evident from the number of entries received. My thanks go out to all the businesses for their commitment to improving biodiversity across all stages of the construction cycle”.

Professor Steve Ormerod, Chairman of Council, RSPB and Professor of Ecology, Cardiff University

Why enter the BIG Biodiversity Challenge?


The BIG Biodiversity Challenge continues to be recognised as the number one industry initiative for raising awareness of and delivering biodiversity within construction and the built environment.


  • Demonstrate commitment to championing the delivery of biodiversity within construction and the built environment.

  • Be recognised as an industry leader in biodiversity, positioning your organisation at the forefront of good practice.

  • Meet your CSR, ESG and KPI objectives by supporting good practice and technical excellence.

  • It's free to enter!


What is a biodiversity enhancement?


A biodiversity enhancement is an action that improves biodiversity and ecological habitat in the local environment. Enhancements should increase opportunities for local biodiversity and go beyond normal business practice or predetermined planning or construction conditions.


Biodiversity enhancements can be large or small scale and can be permanent or temporary measures or programmes that engage with the local community.

The Challenge demonstrates that small enhancements are the crucial first step in engaging with and understanding biodiversity. 



Want to know more about the BIG Biodiversity Challenge? 

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