Atkins earns Environment Agency award
3 September 2008, News release from Atkins
Atkins, working with the Environment Agency National Capital Programme Management Service (NCPMS), has won a Project Excellence Award in recognition of their outstanding efforts on the Regional Habitat Creation Programme in the Anglian Region.
Winning the Sustainable Construction and Environmental Enhancement
category, the team's innovative approach in identifying suitable habitat sites
and helping the Environment Agency meet their targets has uncovered new
standards of best practice.
The Regional Habitat Creation Programme uses a range of tools and approaches developed by Atkins to track habitat losses and gains, identify suitable sites for habitat creation, secure funding approval, permissions and consents and to deliver habitat on the ground. Six habitat creation sites are currently in progress which will deliver 41 hectares of reedbed, 178 hectares of floodplain grazing marsh and 250 hectares of intertidal habitat.
The Programme is playing an important role in ensuring the Environment Agency's legal obligations and Government policy are being met, and that impacts from operational activities (such as flood risk management) are balanced with nature conservation.
An innovative geographic information system (GIS), developed by Atkins, allows the team to rapidly evaluate large tracts of land for suitability. The programme has also built up an excellent working relationship with a range of regional and national conservation organisations (RSPB, Wildlife Trusts, Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust) who work alongside the Environment Agency in finding, developing and managing these new conservation assets.
Duncan Huggett, Habitats Policy Advisor for the Environment Agency commended: "The Anglian Region Habitat Creation Programme is at the forefront of national policy delivery as well as providing a pragmatic and cost- effective approach to meeting our environmental legal obligation. The work done by Atkins with the National Capital Programme Management Service (NCPMS) has been innovative. They remain 'market leaders' in developing systems and practical solutions and their work has been invaluable in helping the EA to meeting challenging targets and obligations."
There are real opportunities to extend the lessons learnt from this programme into the flood risk management arena (e.g. to address other development pressures). A series of workshops have been used to spread this best practice and the tools and approaches developed are now being used in a number of other Environment Agency Regions (Southern, South- West and Midlands).
For further information please email Atkins