Connecting people and wildlife - have a go!
In October 2015, in the splendid surroundings of the Sir Joseph Banks building at Royal Botanic Kew, Arc was announced winner in the CIRIA Big Biodiversity Challenge; it was a tremendously fun and uplifting occasion, and we were very, very proud to be there!
Our winning category was for ‘Small Scale Permanent’, a title that pretty much defines everything we do. Our advocacy for, and delivery of, small interventions in the public realm, resourcing new developments and fixing old ones, is anchored to a fundamental belief in positive action to connect people and wildlife. The Big Biodiversity Challenge Awards did much more than pat us on the back for this. CIRIA is a network of significant organisations, leaders in their fields, international practitioners and pioneering research academics; their validation counts. Winning the award has pushed us to take our own ideas further and the publicity and profile our award attracted has helped to build confidence and interest in our clients, partners and funders in a way that would have taken far longer for us to have independently achieved (it has also influenced and encouraged some of our clients who are likely to sign up to the 2016 Challenge themselves!).
We like awards very much, but we like doing useful and interesting
things much more, and CIRIA’s Big Biodiversity Challenge encompasses
both. Winning a national award for one of our smallest interventions
reminds us that good work doesn’t have to wait until it is monumental in
scale or in budget, you can do little things, layer them and build them
up to accumulate long-term benefits in short-term steps. We’re the lead
partner on the Bay Coastal Community team here on the Isle of Wight and
this is the only approach possible, rolling out a programme of public
projects little by little, as funding and time allows, to a coherent
plan but flexible enough to respond to opportunity and serendipity,
revitalising community spaces and our visitor economy.
Perhaps the most important thing to come from our experience has been a relationship with CIRIA itself, joining that network, learning from seminars and publications, finding project partners and developing new ideas. So our advice is Have A Go! Put up the stuff that captures what you’re up to and where you’re going, don’t just trawl the archive for off-the-peg ready-mades, use the projects you’re most excited about, the platforms to where you’re heading next. Good luck and maybe, if we get lucky too, we’ll meet you at the next ceremony!
Ian Boyd, Arc Consulting
The BIG Biodiversity Challenge is free to enter
and the deadline is August 8, with the 2016 awards ceremony taking
place on September 15 in a central London venue. There are also fantastic sponsorship opportunities for organisations wanting to be involved in this year’s Awards
ceremony. For further information on how to enter, and to be inspired by
last year’s entries, please visit www.bigchallenge.info