Industrial sites recognised as vital havens for UK’s birdlife

No.:  2011-10
March 2011

Take a quarry, throw in a few islands and you have the perfect nesting habitat for Avocet. Left with a worked brickfield? Just add some marshes, sit back and wait for the Snipe. These are just two projects rewarded in the British Trust for Ornithology’s year-long challenge to find the best UK industrial and business sites for wildlife.

Volunteers clearing scrub at Lound Lakes, Essex & Suffolk Water
 

Scrub clearing by volunteers at Lound
Lakes, Essex & Suffolk Water

Throughout 2010, staff and volunteers from 57 business sites took part in the BTO-EDF Energy Business Bird Challenge 2010, recording the birds using their sites.

The Challenge also looked at the conservation initiatives carried out and how staff and local communities were involved in managing and increasing the biodiversity on the landholdings.

Highlights included the creation of an island archipelago at Little Paxton Quarry, Barton Aggregates; the maintenance of habitat for the Norfolk Hawker Dragonfly at Sizewell Power Station, British Energy/EDF Energy; and the provision of slowworm habitat and marshes for Snipe at King’s Dyke, Hanson Building Products. These projects won some of the coveted BTO Conservation awards.

Kate Aldridge, BTO Challenge Organiser, said: “The quality of the work being carried out at all of the sites entered in the Challenge has been outstanding.”

The work has ranged from landscape scale lagoon creation, to rare habitat restoration, to the simple provision of nesting opportunities for a wide variety of birds. All of the winners should be proud of what they have achieved on their sites. Congratulations to all involved.”

The conservation work and monitoring carried out on many of the competing sites is often the result of establishing partnerships with local wildlife organisations and members of the community. BTO Ringing Groups have been welcomed onto many sites and have provided the companies with important information on their breeding birds. In some cases, local Wildlife Trusts have been given the responsibility of the day to day management of sites, and advice and information have been sought from a multitude of other conservation charities.

Kate Aldridge added “The most successful sites often had the most open and productive relationships with conservation group partners.”

The expertise that these groups can offer to business is immense and it is encouraging to see these relationships developing with the biodiversity on these sites. But behind it all is a growing commitment by the participating companies to conservation management on the land they look after.”

Christine Blythe, Biodiversity manager for EDF Energy, said: “We have developed a strong partnership with the BTO Business Bird Challenge over many years and it is great to see this encouragement for sites to take on important conservation projects.”

The Award Winners

The entries were divided into nine groups, reflecting the sizes and diversity of participating sites. These were judged under three categories Conservation, Community and Bird count.  To see the winners please visit http://www.bto.org/news-events/business-bird-challenge-2011

The total number of bird species seen on the participating sites was 266, of which 205 were seen using Rutland Water, Anglian Water – a truly outstanding achievement and the result of a combination of the provision of a wide range of habitats, exceptional management and the presence of plenty of birdwatchers to identify the birds. However, the 78 species seen using the much smaller Dry Quarry - Forcett, Hanson Aggregates, is also an achievement to be proud of.

Notes for Editors

  1. The Business Bird Challenge began in 1994 and is a unique partnership between businesses, the BTO and local communities which encourages biodiversity on business and industrial sites. Held every two years, the Challenge has become a celebration of environmental initiatives by businesses throughout the UK, in the categories of Conservation, Community and Birds.
  2. The BTO is the UK’s leading bird research organisation. Over thirty thousand birdwatchers contribute to the BTO’s surveys. They collect information that forms the basis of conservation action in the UK. The BTO maintains a staff of 100 at its offices in Norfolk and Stirling, who analyse and publicise the results of project work. The BTO’s investigations are funded by supporters, government, industry and conservation organisations.
  3. The Challenge is sponsored by EDF Energy The combination of EDF Energy and British Energy forms one of the UK’s largest energy companies. The new EDF Energy is the UK’s largest producer of electricity and the largest generator of low carbon electricity in Britain. Through ‘Our Climate and Social Commitments’ they have launched the biggest environmental and social packages of any UK energy company. It produces around one-fifth of the nation's electricity from our nuclear, coal and gas power stations, as well as combined heat and power plants and wind farms. They provide power to a quarter of the UK’s population via our electricity distribution networks and supply gas and electricity to over 5.5 million business and residential customer accounts.

Contact information

Kate Aldridge (Challenge Organiser)
Office: 01842 750050 (9am to 5.30pm)
Email: challenge [at] bto.org

Paul Stancliffe (BTO Press Officer)
Office: 01842 750050 (9am to 5.30pm)
Mobile: 07585 440910 (anytime)
Email: press [at] bto.org

Martyn Butlin (EDF Energy Press Officer)
Office: 01524 863565
Email: martyn.butlin [at] edf-energy.com

Site Contacts

Site
Company
Contact
Heysham Power Station
British Energy
Martyn Butlin
01524 863565
Martyn.butlin [at] edf-energy.com
Sizewell Power Station
British Energy
Martyn Butlin
01524 863565
Martyn.butlin [at] edf-energy.com
Kings Dyke Brickworks & Nature Reserve
Hanson Building Products
Tim Darling
01509 501297
Tim.darling [at] hanson.biz
Lound Lakes
Essex & Suffolk Water
Helen Jacobs
01268 664397
Helen.Jacobs [at] nwl.co.uk
 
Tophill Low Nature Reserve
 
Yorkshire Water Services Ltd
 Matt Thompson
01274 692653
Matt.thompson [at] yorkshirewater.co.uk
Abberton Reservoir
Essex & Suffolk Water
Helen Jacobs
01268 664397
Helen.Jacobs [at] nwl.co.uk
Tendley Quarry
Tendley Quarries Ltd
Gillian Pattison
01900 823962
Gillian.pattison [at] aggregate.com
Whisby Quarry
Lafarge Aggregates
David Park
01740 658905
David.park [at] uk.lafarge.com
Little Paxton Quarry
Aggregate Industries
Delia Shannon
01530 816664
Delia.shannon [at] aggregate.com
Hartlepool Power Station
British Energy
Martyn Butlin
01524 863565
Martyn.butlin [at] edf-energy.com
Brinefields & Cavities – North Tees Works
SABIC (UK) Petrochemicals Ltd
Janet S Jones
01642 834693
Janet.s.jones [at] sabic-europe.com
The Avenue Washlands
East Midlands Development Agency/Derbyshire Wildlife Trust
Samantha Willis
01773 881188
swillis [at] derbyshirewt.co.uk
Testwood Lakes
Southern Water
Helen Sparkes
01903 272642
Helen.Sparkes [at] southernwater.co.uk
Alton Water
Anglian Water
Mike Drew
01480 323232
mdrew [at] anglianwater.co.uk
Rutland Water
Anglian Water
Mike Drew
01480 323232
mdrew [at] anglianwater.co.uk
Dry Rigg Quarry
Lafarge Aggregates
David Park
01740 658905
David.park [at] uk.lafarge.com
Dungeness Power Station
British Energy
Martyn Butlin
01524 863565
Martyn.butlin [at] edf-energy.com
Holmes Farm
Pollybell Farms Ltd
Pam Lloyd
0117 9892565
pam [at] pamlloyd.com
Blashford Lakes Wildlife Reserve
Blashford Lakes Partnership
Bob Chapman
01425 476303
robertc [at] hwt.org.uk
Forcett Quarry
Hanson Aggregates
Georgina Watkins
01937 581977
Georgina.watkins [at] hanson.com
Ripon Quarry
Hanson Aggregates
Georgina Watkins
01937 581977
Georgina.watkins [at] hanson.com
Lound Quarry
Tarmac Ltd
George Elliott
07702 635411
George.elliott [at] tarmac.co.uk
Jealott’s Hill Research Centre
Syngenta
Garry Nisbet
01344 414841
garry.nisbet [at] syngenta.com

Images are available for use alongside this News Release
Please contact images [at] bto.org quoting reference 2011-10

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