BSG Ecology shortlisted for Habitat Creation Project of the Year at CIRIA BIG Awards 2021

BSG Ecology shortlisted for Habitat Creation Project of the Year at CIRIA BIG Awards 2021

We are thrilled to have been short-listed in the CIRIA BIG Awards Habitat Creation: Project of the Year (Large – medium scale biodiversity enhancement 5ha and above) category for our project at Ullswater Heights Leisure Park.

The BIG Biodiversity Challenge, set up in 2013, aims to raise awareness of the importance of protecting and enhancing biodiversity in the built environment, encourage the construction industry to add biodiversity enhancements to sites, and to collaborate with local communities to ensure long term awareness and protection of local biodiversity. The BIG awards provide recognition for projects which have met these aims.

Our submission was for work carried out at Ullswater Leisure Park in Cumbria. BSG were engaged by Leisure Resorts Ltd to resolve complicated ecological constraints which had arisen during the construction of the holiday park, including providing mitigation for a large population of great crested newt on the site. The great crested newt licence mitigation and a 10 year Habitat Management Plan were designed to ensure that the favourable conservation status of the newt population could be maintained, and that biodiversity gain objectives are successful.

The site is now home to a large and stable great crested newt population, toads, frogs, smooth newt, protected species including barn owl, peregrine falcon and badger, and a diverse range of invertebrates associated with the mosaic of grassland and scrub habitats woven through the holiday park and within the wetland habitats in the area designed for great crested newt.

The operators Leisure Resorts were understanding and motivated in welcoming biodiversity into the development and now see the biodiversity value of their site as an asset. This is reflected in their website material, on-site interpretation panels, and in the fact that their Operations Manager achieved his great crested newt survey license.

Paul Dixon, Operations Manager, Leisure Resorts commented: “BSG has provided a fantastic level of professional advice throughout, knowing when to step back and when to get their hands dirty for more complex projects such as pond creation. BSG are passionate and authoritative in the work they do, keeping us well informed on legal implications concerning great crested newts and steering us through the licensing process. The professional guidance that BSG have given to this project is without a doubt second to none. We look forward to future development of ongoing projects with BSG.”

Short-listing for this award provides recognition of the hard work, technical expertise and experience of our staff, particularly Dr Jim Fairclough who led our inputs. We are looking forward to attending this year’s virtual award ceremony in September 2021.

Further information on the Ullswater Heights Project can be found here: Ullswater Heights Leisure Park, Cumbria: Delivery of A Mitigation Strategy For A Large Great Crested Newt Population

If you need professional ecological support with regard to a proposed development project, please contact one of our offices.

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