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Temporary green wall The innovative idea of a temporary green wall located at Kier’s site office demonstrated how enhancements can be made at a range of locations. The concept behind it was to hide the concrete behind a green wall made of disused material from the site. Experts from Camley Street Nature Park helped advise on planting, which included climbers so that over time the harsh concrete landscape will become a great visual aspect for the site workers. Skip gardens The charity Global Generation (GG) has set up the gardens as a tool to engage young people from the local community and the construction workers. These gardens can be moved around the site as different areas are developed. They are fully supported by Argent the property developers. Different 28 skips have been planted with different vegetation and some have been used to grow local produce. The skip gardens were a highlight of the tour as they are a great idea and useful engagement tool. CIRIA’s site tour of King’s Cross, highlighted how biodiversity measures can be implemented at different scales across the built environment and during a construction project. It demonstrates that there is always a place for nature! Skills – the real challenge for biodiversity enhancements The final workshop event for 2013 looked at skills across the different sectors in the industry including those of clients, consultants and contractors. The aims of the workshop were to: to understand what skills are needed for biodiversity enhancements identify the groups that need up-skilling in the industry understand what knowledge is required and how this is going to be delivered for the essential disciplines, industry bodies and communities. The workshop started with four short presentations demonstrating different approaches to biodiversity enhancements including the up-skilling of local maintenance staff at the Pirbright Institute by AECOM, and the up-skilling of staff on the Thameslink programme to improve knowledge across Network Rail. After the presentations the delegates voted on what sector they thought needed upskilling. The results showed that clients (19 votes) needed greater knowledge and skills followed by contractors (12 votes) and local authorities (11 votes). After the vote the delegates discussed two questions 1 What skills and knowledge are needed to deliver biodiversity enhancements? 2 What resources and training needs are required? Overall the discussions at the workshop identified that greater knowledge and skills are needed across the sector. Simpler language and key messages is needed to engage different sectors. A couple of the groups identified the need to implement biodiversity training within companies at all levels and a mentoring programme could help to identify champions within companies. The BIG have explored how the industry is going to reach the Biodiversity 2020 target, seen some innovative enhancements on site and discussed the skills that are needed across the industry. Through these discussions the group agreed that there is the need for action to start encouraging people to implement biodiversity on site. So it has launched the ‘BIG Challenge’. BIG Challenge The BIG Challenge of ‘do one thing’ is to add one new biodiversity enhancement on each site or development. It can be something simple, such as adding hanging baskets with native wildflowers or creating bug hotels. These measures can be permanent features of the development or temporary during the construction phase. They can range from creating biodiversity champions to engaging with the local community. Once one method has been completed the enhancement can be transferred to the next site and built upon. Biodiversity enhancement needs to be at the centre of the design and engineering process. The BIG wants to demonstrate that small enhancements are a first step in engaging and understanding biodiversity. These measures can be built upon so that ultimately biodiversity becomes a greater consideration in towns and cities. Why sign up? Why not? The BIG have suggested some simple measures to get people to start thinking about biodiversity on site and to understand its importance. The measures don’t have to be difficult, and can start with something easy to adopt such as: Sustainability Raised flower bed on a rooftop Skip garden


evolutionwinter2013
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