Winchester Sport and Leisure Park, Winchester
New sport and leisure facility for Winchester
Our environment has never been under so much pressure. At the same time, our appreciation of the importance of nature, how it can improve our wellbeing and help bring communities together, has never been greater.
The natural environment can have a huge impact on people’s health and wellbeing. There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that green spaces and access to nature can boost physical and mental health, help reduce stress levels, and protect against a range of diseases.
The built environment has an important part to play in restoring our environment and bringing nature into communities. The projects we deliver will help reduce flooding, improve air quality and provide valuable habitats to support biodiversity.
As well as this, we will support tree planting initiatives to support our customers and their local communities in tackling climate change, whilst creating space for nature and people to enjoy. This will help us to leave the natural environment in a better state than when we found it.
To deliver these ambitions, our targets to 2030 are:
Biodiversity net gain
We are committed to working with our customers to implement the principles of biodiversity net gain wherever possible. This involves measuring the biodiversity value of our sites using defined methods, prior to starting construction. We will then deliver an increase in natural habitat and ecological features to ensure we improve the site’s biodiversity and counteract what has been lost during construction. Where we are responsible for planting, we aim to use appropriate native species which are well adapted to the climate, soil and pests.
In addition, we are committed to planting 100,000 trees by 2030. You can find out more about our tree planting work here.
We are also working with industry peers to develop a better understanding of methods to measure and implement wider environmental net gain on our projects, such as flood alleviation and improved air quality.
Environmental management systems
Through our environmental management system, we carry out a pre-construction assessment of the impact our projects will have on the surrounding environment. We identify protected trees and wildlife on site as well as the ecological requirements of our customers and stakeholders, documenting these in project environmental plans.
During the construction phase, our environmental managers visit each site to ensure the project’s environmental plan is fully implemented.
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. Biodiversity awareness is promoted on site using toolbox talks (organised morning meetings) and an environmental notice board.
We minimise risk of pollution through best practice site procedures and through training our people.
Work with The Wildlife Trusts
We have had a memorandum of understanding with The Wildlife Trusts since 2014. Through this, we have established a framework which gives us access to the Trust’s ecology consultancy services. Collaboration with the Trusts help us improve our knowledge about the natural environment and receive expert advice on our projects.
We are members of CIRIA's Biodiversity Interest Group.
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