On most of our contracts, we work in partnership with our clients who are responsible for the design and specification of the nature conservation services to be delivered. However, some of our clients are now looking to outsource the management of parks and countryside and are therefore looking for their contractor to take responsibility for designing the landscape and specifying the maintenance operations. We can therefore divide our nature conservation activities into landscape maintenance and landscape management.
How will idverde UK protect or enhance biodiversity as a maintenance contractor?
- During contract mobilisation, our contract manager will establish from our client the location of any sites of particular nature conservation interest, especially designated sites.
- Through toolbox talks, our contract manager will ensure that all employees are aware of the locations of sensitive sites and their obligations under the WLCA through simple do’s and don’ts.
- Compulsory biodiversity training is undertaken by all contract delivery staff
- On larger contracts (£1 million+), we will become corporate supporters of our local Wildlife Trust, where it is feasible to do so. On contracts where there is a high proportion of nature conservation work, we will commission external training on specific techniques and awareness from conservation partners such as the RSPB or the local Wildlife Trust.
- We will be proactive in suggesting more wildlife-friendly ways of working with our clients. We will listen to and actively engage with Friends’ Groups and local Wildlife Groups so that we are aware of areas of local wildlife importance and support volunteers wherever possible. This may involve the loan of equipment, the offer of transport or the active participation in conservation activities.
- As part of our Carbon Reduction Plan, we will offer to plant native tree species under our Employee Tree Scheme to offset our carbon and to increase local biodiversity.
How will idverde UK protect or enhance biodiversity as a management contractor?
Where idverde is responsible for the management of parks and open spaces, our responsibility to protect wildlife and observe statutory designations becomes significantly higher. In these circumstances, idverde will engage Dr Catherine Norris in support of the project to ensure that it delivers high standards of nature conservation. Depending on the contract, this may include biodiversity monitoring, the drawing up of management plans and the management of conservation volunteers.
Many of the sites where idverde deliver maintenance contracts contain sites of high wildlife value, or are adjacent to areas of nature conservation interest or designated sites. In particular, the following of our contracts require us to work carefully and sensitively with the client conservation officers and conservation volunteers.
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park – idverde is legacy partner for this landmark site until at least 2024, caring for the park’s green and blue estates. The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park has been developed with a number of social, economic and biodiversity commitments at its core. We have been involved with the creation of the Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) for the park from day one, consulting with local nature and wildlife groups at every stage to ensure that a fully rounded view of local biodiversity was taken into account. We have our own dedicated Conservation Manager, Dr Catherine Norris who is responsible for designing and delivering our biodiversity management objectives.
Stroud District Council – idverde became responsible for the maintenance of Stratford Park in 2008 and since then our team has embarked upon a series of biodiversity initiatives in partnership with Stroud District Council.
idverde’s Mike McCrea, Entomologist, ornithologist and Contract Supervisor, works closely with local friends’ groups and the community in the delivery of the idverde and Stroud Council designed, Biodiversity Strategy. The strategy includes the creation of new habitats for local wildlife, a new nest boxes scheme, the creation of a new dipping pond and a new planting scheme for the Orangery aimed at attracting butterflies and bees.
Prior to 2008, there was very little scientific study in the park but Mike’s team now record and monitor biodiversity activity and have also seen the return of a number of species seldom seen in the park.