Kier employee receives prestigious biodiversity award

Jamie Edmonds, from Kier Utilities, has been presented with the prestigious 2018 BIG Biodiversity Champion Award, which recognises an individual who does ‘BIG things for biodiversity in construction’.

Organised by the Construction Industry Research and Information Association (CIRIA), the annual BIG Biodiversity Challenge Awards encourage sites, offices and depots to ‘do one thing’ for biodiversity’ – and recognise teams and projects that have ‘done their bit for the environment particularly well’.

Jamie Edmonds, who is also Team Van Oord’s Environmental Manager, received his award at the 2018 BIG Biodiversity Challenge Awards’ ceremony on 12 September – in recognition of his work on the The Bristol Water Southern Strategic Support Main (SSSM) project.

While working on the SSSM project, Jamie identified an opportunity to contribute to the conservation of owls and hawks by erecting nest boxes.

He contacted the Hawk and Owl Trust and local landowners and as a result 40 nest boxes have been installed on the project. The boxes were made and installed by pupils from a local school and college students, under Jamie’s guidance.

His passion for biodiversity inspires all those around him, including a group of environmental science students from Bath Spa University who used the project as a study site, with Jamie acting as their mentor. After working with Jamie, two students were inspired to join Kier full time.

Jamie, together with his team, also arranged for children from inner city schools to spend time on the project, planting trees to improve the connectivity between existing areas of fragmented woodland, and to provide habitat for dormice.

This was carried out in collaboration with Bristol City Council’s One Tree per Child Project, who said everyone involved was inspired by Jamie’s enthusiasm.

Residents in a local village were concerned that the installation of the pipeline would damage a bee orchid colony that had become established in local road verges.

Jamie arranged for the temporary removal of the turf containing the orchids and subsequent reinstatement on completion of the pipeline, which has proved successful.

Jamie’s involvement with ‘Spawn to be Wild’, a collaboration between Kier, Bristol Water and the Avon Wildlife Trust, increased his biodiversity knowledge which he has subsequently shared by talking to schools about freshwater ecology; specifically in relation to the endangered European eel, including helping students care for tanks of juvenile eels before releasing them into the wild.

Jamie was nominated by Tom Conway, Kier Contract/Operations Manager for the SSSM project, who praised Jamie’s enthusiasm for ‘all things biodiversity’.

Tom Conway said:

“I have always been impressed with Jamie’s knowledge of, and passion for, biodiversity and wildlife. Species benefiting from his interventions vary from orchids to dormice, and eels to barn owls.

“His ability to collaborate and communicate with our client, landowners, charities, local communities, schools and the Kier team is what ensures the success and longevity of the initiatives to enhance biodiversity on this project.

“Jamie leads by example and his enthusiasm for ‘all things biodiversity’ continues to inspire Kier employees and many others to do their bit for biodiversity.”

19 September 2018