City Football Academy team scores IOG Ecology Award

idverde’s team at the City Football Academy Manchester picked up a prestigious award from the Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) in October.

The team, with our client at City Football Academy, received the IOG Ransomes Environmental/Ecology Project of the Year Award in recognition of the work they are doing at the Academy to improve biodiversity by increasing areas of habitat, along with introducing a sustainable maintenance programme and raising awareness of local ecology in the local community.

Working with the client, the idverde team has developed a three-year improvement plan to create a range of different habitats to encourage biodiversity. They have also installed conservation infrastructure, including solitary bee and wasp nesting boxes.

Manchester City Football Academy’s Landscape Contract Manager, Daniel Lewis, says:

“We haven’t had any budget increase in terms of monetary value for these projects, it has been more about how we use our current resources and space to promote biodiversity and the increase in ecology; the investment in
time and utilisation of staff from our grounds maintenance teams have enabled us to collect significant and important trackable data in the form of biodiversity surveys.

“The Academy sits on reclaimed land used previously as a chemical treatment works and heavily built up industrial area. What we have achieved here shows what can be done to align first class footballing facilities with ecology
and diversity.”

Daniel Cranmer, idverde’s Head Landscape Gardener at MCFA, added:

“Winning this prestigious award is a fantastic achievement by our landscape team. We have come a long way in the four years since we started our contract on the City Football Academy. From vacant amenity lawns to introducing wildflower meadows, habitats, lots of high nectar pollinating plants, wildlife surveys, and in many cases making the CFA a greener and more hospitable place for wildlife.

“We worked closely with Manchester City, having a clear understanding of what we wanted to do and developing manageable projects with our small landscape team. We have shown what can be achieved with little investment
but still produce such dramatic changes for the good of the environment.

“We’ve had to think and re-evaluate the way we do our maintenance and have encompassed new programmes which required my team to be open minded, willing to learn and go the extra mile. This wouldn’t be possible without the help of our idverde team: Paul Silk, Dalton Eckersall, Pavel Furda, Karl Horne, Dominic Knower, Ben Williams, and Martin Neighbour.”

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