An initiative to showcase efforts to protect and conserve the local ecology during a big road project has been recognised with a national accolade.
The Morpeth Northern Bypass Education Hub and Programme was developed by a team at Carillion, which is carrying out the works for client Northumberland County Council, and EcoNorth Ltd.
It was the winner of the Community Engagement Award at the ceremony for the BIG Biodiversity Challenge – organised by the CIRIA (Construction Industry Research and Information Association) Biodiversity Interest Group – that celebrates awareness of the need for biodiversity to become a key part of the industry.
The bypass will take vehicles between the top of Whorral Bank and the junction with the A1 at St Leonard’s. It includes two underpasses with mammal shelves and one mammal tunnel.
Active for over 12 months now, the education hub provides an online space where visitors can learn more about the ecological enhancements of the site. In addition, the programme has involved delivering presentations about these works to more than 350 people from ages five to 70.
Vicki Mordue, EcoNorth Ltd managing director said: “I am delighted that our partnership with Carillion has led to us not only winning this wonderful award, but highlighting the need to put ecology at the heart of any construction project.”
Leanne August, senior sustainability manager on the project for Carillion, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be commended for all of the hard work that has gone into ensuring the project is sustainable and works for the local community and ecology.
“Our motivation was to help give something back to the community in this green landscape and optimise the use of a real-life classroom, which incorporated some impressive ecological aspects.
“We also wanted to leave a legacy, something that people would always use and remember.”