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Hanson quarries open for biodiversity competition

Needingworth Quarry

Company launches UK round of HeidelbergCement’s international Quarry Life Award competition

HANSON have launched the fifth round of their biodiversity competition, the Quarry Life Award.

The international competition is run every three years by the company’s parent company, HeidelbergCement, to raise the understanding of the biodiversity value of quarrying sites during and after extraction and share new best practices.

It is being held in more than 20 countries across the globe and aims to increase the understanding of the interaction between nature and quarries as well as contributing to global nature conservation goals in raising the awareness of the importance of biodiversity and bringing people closer to nature.

At a national level, the competition has two streams: research and community, both of which offer a £5,000 top prize.

The research stream focuses on scientific projects that increase knowledge of quarry-specific ecology and/or lead to improved biodiversity, landscape or water management. It is aimed principally at academics, scientists and research groups. The categories cover biodiversity management, habitat and species research and a section called ‘beyond quarry borders’. Hanson sites participating in the 2022 contest are set to be announced in the coming weeks.

The community stream is for projects that educate about biodiversity in quarries or help the quarry to better connect with its neighbours and raise awareness among the wider general public of the biodiversity at extraction sites. This stream is open to everyone – individuals, students, schools and community groups.

National winners will be put forward into the international stage of the competition, with prizes awarded in the following categories: biodiversity management, habitat and species, beyond quarry borders, biodiversity and education, connecting quarries and local communities, and nature-based solutions. The projects judged to be the best in each of these six categories will each receive a prize of £8,700 (€10,000), with the best project overall receiving no less than a total of £26,000 (€30,000).

The deadline for submitting outline proposals is 18 November 2021, after which a panel of experts will select six of the proposals to become projects to be carried out at Hanson sites between January and September 2022. The UK winners will be chosen by a national jury and share a prize fund of £10,000, and will go forward to the international competition.

Stewart Jones, national sustainability manager at Hanson UK, said: ‘The World Economic Forum 2021 Global Risk Report has put biodiversity loss among the five most concerning global risks, both in terms of likelihood and impact.

‘HeidelbergCement want to contribute to the global restoration agenda and work towards a net positive in biodiversity. Our aim is to encourage projects which can support or enhance the work we are already doing to improve biodiversity and the quality of restoration at our sites. We also want to hear from people who have ideas which will create a better understanding of the importance of quarrying and its vital role in improving the built environment.

‘The award has increased dialogue with academics, NGOs and our local communities which, in turn, is helping to inform the development of biodiversity action plans at all our sites.’

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