Construction team building the Mersey Gateway shortlisted for two biodiversity awards
The team building Halton’s iconic new Mersey Gateway Bridge has been shortlisted for two prestigious national biodiversity awards.
The BIG Biodiversity Challenge 2017 has shortlisted the work of project team Merseylink, as well as the individual efforts of Victoria Pollard, environmental manager with Merseylink, for the national award ceremony in London, this September.
The finalists were chosen from more than 100 entries to the awards.
Merseylink has been shortlisted for the Large Scale Permanent Award, while Victoria has been shortlisted for the BIG Biodiversity Champion Award.
The awards are organised by CIRIA, the construction industry research and information association, which is a non-profit organisation, that works to improve the construction industry.
Victoria said this was great news for the whole construction team.
“We have worked extremely hard to help revitalise the saltmarsh and estuary as part of the Mersey Gateway project,” she said.
“This has involved introducing a small herd of grazing cattle to the saltmarsh to encourage the growth of new grasses and improve species diversity – they’re really thriving, which is great.
“Healthy marshes then attract insects, which in turn attract birds and bats, while flowering saltmarsh plants attract pollinators too.
“Before the cattle were introduced an area of the saltmarsh was cleared of debris and water troughs were installed.
“This is one example of an environmental legacy we will leave in this area, that will last long after the bridge has been completed.”
Hugh O’Connor, General Manager of Merseylink, said he was excited at the announcement.
“This is great news and is real recognition of the efforts we have made to improve the environment around the project site,” he said.
“Only a few weeks ago we won a CIEEM national award that recognised excellence in stakeholder management in relation to ecological and environmental management, so I’m extremely proud of the team to again be shortlisted for another environmental award.”
Cllr Rob Polhill, Leader of Halton Borough Council, said: “This is another great bit of news for the environmental side of this fantastic bridge project.
“The Project has always considered the conservation and protection of our natural environment a priority and with the great work from the Merseylink environmental team and the setting up of the Mersey Gateway Environmental Trust, it is clear the project is not only delivering a fantastic new bridge for Halton, but is also helping regenerate our natural green spaces too.”
You can vote for Victoria Pollard and Merseylink, to be the BIG Biodiversity Champion by visiting: www.bigchallenge.info/2017-shortlisted-entries
Voting closes at noon on Friday, September 8.
The winners will be announced at the award ceremony in London, on September 14.
The Mersey Gateway Environmental Trust (MGET) is an independent Charitable Trust set up in 2010 to promote the conservation, protection and improvement of the environment across a 1600-hectare area of the Upper Mersey Estuary running all the way from the Mersey Gateway Bridge up river as far as Warrington.
The Trust aims to create a new 28.5 hectare nature reserve around the bridge.
If you would like to find out more about the Mersey Gateway project, please visit: www.merseygateway.co.uk