Biodiversity is another way in which we can leave a positive legacy on our projects.

Biodiversity can have a huge impact on people’s health and wellbeing. There’s a growing body of evidence to suggest that green spaces and access to nature can help reduce stress levels, boost mental health, increase fitness and protect against a range of diseases.

Our 2016-2018 Biodiversity Strategy reflects the work we are already doing to minimise our impact on biodiversity when working on sites (through a range of mechanisms such as Ecology surveys, BREEAM and CCS, and through our sustained partnership with The Wildlife Trusts). It is also driving us to ensure a robust and consistent approach to biodiversity, not only at site level but also in relation to the supply chain partners we work with. We are improving the way we capture our progress and achievements so that we can learn from what we do.

We are members of CIRIA's Biodiveristy Interest Group.

Environmental management systems

On all projects, through our environmental management systems, we carry out a pre-construction assessment of the impact the project will have on the surrounding environment. We identify the protected trees and wildlife on site as well as taking into account the ecological requirements of our clients and stakeholders.

During the construction phase our environmental managers will visit each site to ensure the project environmental plan is fully implemented.

Where we are responsible for planting, we aim to use drought-resistant indigenous species which are well adapted to the climate, soil and pests.

Each of our sites has a 'biodiversity champion' who makes sure the appropriate method statements are produced and that licences and permits are obtained where environmentally sensitive works are planned. They also promote biodiversity awareness on site using toolbox talks (organised morning meetings) and an environmental notice board.

We minimise risk of pollution through best practice site procedures and by ensuring all our employees are appropriately trained.

Work with The Wildlife Trusts

We have had a memorandum of understanding with The Wildlife Trusts since 2014. Through this, we have established a frame work which gives us access to the ecology consultancy services offered by this organisation of 47 wildlife charities across the UK.

The collaboration helps Willmott Dixon improve its natural environment knowledge and expertise, and engage with The Wildlife Trusts on individual projects.