Developers must be supported if they are to protect biodiversity, according to surface water and drainage systems supplier ACO Water Management, following growing calls for construction projects to prioritise the protection of mainland species in the UK.
A number of MPs, led by former Transport Secretary Chris Grayling, have made the case for hedgehogs to be added to Britain’s list of protected animals. This follows a sharp decline in the UK population, with a report from 2018 suggesting numbers had halved since 2000 and fallen by roughly 97% on 1950s levels. Developers are being urged to search for the animals and take action to protect them, which is particularly important when it comes to roads given the acute threat they pose to hedgehogs.
To support the many challenges facing the construction industry, ACO has developed a wildlife range to aid the protection of these mainland species. Enabling the protection of animals and future viability of genetic diversity, the range provides simple integration of environmentally-friendly solutions into a wide range of infrastructure projects.
The range includes guidance systems, tunnels, conveyance channels, escape ladders, wildlife kerbs, nesting boxes, and wildlife refuges, helping to mitigate the impact construction can have on surrounding habitats.
Adam Cane, Knowledge Manager at ACO Water Management, comments: “A crucial factor of construction is to minimise its environmental impact. Legislative changes such as the Environment Bill are creating a lot of buzz, and the onus is on developers to understand that the prosperity of natural systems will increase revenue.
“In addition to tunnels and refuges, developers must also consider ponding and fresh water environments, all while under press to deliver projects on time and to a high standard. That’s why, alongside the ACO wildlife product portfolio, we’re also running a free online webinar specifically tailored to cover the emerging biodiversity challenges.”
The webinar entitled Super Amphibian Highways will take place on Wednesday 10th March. Looking at the various factors affecting biodiversity, the webinar outlines some of the technical solutions available to assist movement, increase genetic diversity, and achieve biodiversity net gains. It will also illustrate some best practice case studies, in a bid to support those tasked with meeting sustainability demands.
ACO Water Management’s free Super Amphibian Highway webinar is being held on Wednesday 10th March. For more information or to sign up, please visit: https://app.livestorm.co/aco-technologies/super-amphibian-highways-2021, and for more webinars available in this series visit: https://www.aco.co.uk/2021-webinar-series.