2017 has been another busy, productive and exciting year for everyone involved with Team Van Oord – here’s a quick-fire, month-by-month round up of some of the key highlights and achievements.
Our project team reported good progress on a lock refurbishment scheme near Maidstone in Kent. 100-year-old East Farleigh Lock had been dewatered and extensive temporary works installed to support the existing structure, paving the way for installation of a new reinforced concrete skin and refurbishment of the existing lock gates.
In February, we rolled out the Environment Agency’s ‘R U OKAY?’ campaign to encourage our employees to take a positive approach to mental wellbeing. R U OKAY? is designed to raise awareness of mental health issues and in turn empower sufferers to take action.
Elsewhere, the Environment Agency used ‘World Wetlands Day’ on 2 February 2017 to look back at the time when Starry Smoothhound Sharks visited RSPB Medmerry.
On 12 March, the £31m Shoreham Adur Tidal Walls project was the subject of a feature by ITV Meridian which reported that work on the scheme was well underway, with piling works complete at two of the project’s 10 reaches.
Elsewhere, more than 100 endangered crayfish were removed from the area where we were carrying out a flood alleviation scheme to protect the town of Rugeley in the West Midlands. Under the terms of the contract awarded by the Environment Agency, TVO was required to mitigate against harm to the White Clawed Crayfish inhabiting Rising Brook where the works were taking place.
Members of the Medway River Users Association (MRUA) complimented our project team when they visited the East Farleigh Lock scheme. The delegation unanimously agreed that the visit was ‘very informative’ and described the project as ‘well orchestrated’.
Team Van Oord’s Erwin van den Bergh saw his leadership and safety culture displayed as Project Manager of Project Lincshore recognised with a WEM Framework award to recognise exemplary safety behaviour.
Two Team Van Oord schemes (Broomhill Sands Coastal Defence and Project Lincshore) featured in the latest edition of a magazine produced by the Environment Agency and its partners to ‘innovate, share and standardise’ the delivery of projects for communities.
Elsewhere, Team Van Oord employees at two sites in West Sussex (Clay’s Lake and Shoreham Adur Tidal Walls) received specialist training on silt management, one of the leading causes of pollution generated at construction sites.
In May, we published aerial photos highlighting progress on the Selly Park South flood defence scheme in Birmingham.
We also highlighted the important role that eel passes – like those we installed on behalf of the Environment Agency at Stanley Flume Flow Measuring Station and Frenchay FMS and Weir – play in helping to preserve the endangered European Eel.
A new fish pass was installed as part of a lock refurbishment scheme on the River Medway, in a bid to improve the condition of the river and strengthen the fish population within.
We completed an upgrade of facilities at our Lea Marston Depot in the West Midlands which has since become a major incident response hub for the Environment Agency (of which there are only seven nationwide).
Work also got underway on the second element of a £4m flood prevention scheme in Birmingham – Selly Park North – carried out by Team Van Oord on behalf of the Environment Agency.
At the Clay’s Lake Flood Prevention Scheme, work got back underway following a seasonal break in on-site activities.
Working in partnership with frog environmental, we also successfully deployed ‘silt wattles’ to help control sediment at Clay’s Lake.
Construction works to provide improved protection from flooding for residents and businesses in the Staffordshire town of Rugeley moved past the halfway point.
Also in the news, our Project Lincshore team donated £500 to the two RNLI lifeboat stations at Skegness and Mablethorpe, both of which had been the victim of theft.
On behalf of the Environment Agency, we completed a project to improve safety and access to two rivers in Surrey. The works involved the placement of a series of safety booms, a debris boom and access ramps on the Rivers Mole and Ember at East Molesey.
Our team working in Rugeley received a ‘massive thank you’ from the coordinator of the town’s community centre, for the ‘fantastic community support’ they provided to the community centre.
We also published the first two parts of a series of articles looking at specific elements of efforts to mitigate the environmental impact of our work on the Shoreham Adur Tidal Walls Flood Defence Scheme.
In addition to the recognition given to Erwin van den Bergh, Project Manager of Project Lincshore (see March), Team Van Oord’s ‘excellent performance’ at Lincshore was recognised with a 2017 Environment Agency Exemplar Award.
The Environment Agency Exemplar Award is presented to recognise outstanding health, safety and wellbeing (HSW) and environmental performance in the delivery of its projects. Following their visits at the site, the auditors noted a ‘very well planned and managed project’ and awarded the project team 95% for HSW and 83% for environment.
This is the third Environment Agency Exemplar Award presented to Team Van Oord – the others were for the Broomhill Sands Coastal Defence Scheme (Oct 2015) and the Steart Peninsular project (Oct 2013) – and Team Van Oord remains the only Lot 4 WEM supplier to have received an Exemplar Award.
In August, we circulated a health and wellbeing directory designed to act as a ‘go-to resource’ for our employees. The directory covers issues including: alcohol and drugs; anxiety, stress and depression; diet and healthy eating; exercise and physical activity; healthy hearts; men and women’s health; and long-term conditions including diabetes, arthritis and asthma.
We also successfully completed the programme of major refurbishment works at East Farleigh Lock on the River Medway – and the lock reopened. The Environment Agency described the new lock as ‘a great asset to visitors, river users, and wildlife for many years to come’.
On 7 September, the Medmerry Managed Realignment Scheme was the focus of BBC Breakfast feature which included an interview with the Environment Agency’s Director of Strategy and Investment. Speaking to BBC Weather’s Matt Taylor, as part of a series of features on coastal Britain, Alison Baptiste described the scheme as a ‘fantastic example’ of a flood defence scheme.
Good progress continued at the Shoreham Adur Tidal Walls scheme, with work taking place at seven of the 10 reaches.
Finally, the Cannington Flood Defence Scheme in Somerset, carried out by Team Van Oord on behalf of the Environment Agency, was recognised in two national awards schemes. The project was awarded a 2017 Green Apple Environment Award and was also shortlisted in the 2017 BIG Biodiversity Challenge Awards.
We published a ‘think’ piece, outlining why we firmly believes that diversity in the workplace increases innovation and the bottom line – by up to 35%.
The award-winning Cannington Flood Defence Scheme was officially opened by the Chair of the Environment Agency, Emma Howard Boyd. The £4.5m scheme has greatly improved flood protection for around 200 homes and businesses in the area.
Elsewhere, Shoreham Adur Tidal Walls Scheme project team members ‘wore it pink’ on 20 October to help ensure a brighter future for those affected by breast cancer.
In early November, we reported that works in Rugeley were on schedule to be complete before the end on 2017.
A delegation representing the Cannington Flood Defence Scheme attended the House of Commons on 6 November to accept the Green Apple Environment Award, which was bestowed on the project earlier in the year year.
Finally, the Shoreham Adur Tidal Walls project picked up it first accolade– a commendation in the 2017 RTPI South East Awards for Planning Excellence Awards.
19 December 2017