Undertaking ecological surveys on HS2

The High Speed 2 (HS2) rail link project is progressing apace, with construction activity evident on the new high-speed line. Binnies has continued to support the Laing O’Rourke and J. Murphy and Sons joint venture (LM) by undertaking ecological surveys across Phase 1 North of the HS2 route as part of LM’s enabling-works contract. Writing for Rail Professional magazine, Caroline Jewell, Principal Environmental Scientist, explains how undertaking 5500 ecological surveys during a global pandemic was challenging, but with the use of digital approaches and health and safety protocols, it was feasible.

The surveys undertaken were bat roost assessments, bat emergence, water vole, otter, great crested newt, white-clawed crayfish, barn owl and reptile surveys. The article set out the methods that Binnies used to manage this wide-ranging suite of survey types over the year in which the COVID-19 pandemic reached the UK. The work included the use of a common data environment (CDE) for assigning surveys and collecting quality data.

Following lessons learned from the HS2 ecological survey work carried out in previous years, the Binnies data products and services (DPS) and environmental services teams worked together to create a bespoke survey data platform called Onsite. Using this innovative approach helped Binnies increase the number of ecological surveys undertaken from fewer than 1000 in 2019 to 5500 in 2020, despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We risk-assessed the best way of delivering survey logistics during the pandemic. This resulted in negotiating the exclusive use of two hotels close to the main survey area for our site support team and surveyors and developing an extensive set of COVID-19 mitigation measures within the hotels. A dedicated site support team was also set up to deal with the additional COVID-19 logistics.

This increased scale of survey output ensured that the ecological surveys were completed safely and successfully within the season.

Find out more by reading the full article online.

About Binnies

At Binnies, we create new possibilities for humanity through our innovative approach to delivery. Backed by a culture that has stayed true since the company’s founding over 100 years ago, Binnies develops intelligent water and environmental solutions using a whole-life-cycle approach to deliver functional infrastructure and lasting environmental and social legacies. We strive to elevate the quality of life for our local communities today and for generations to come.

Binnies is an RSK group company and was formerly part of Black & Veatch.

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About the RSK group (RSK)

RSK is a leading integrated environmental, engineering and technical services group made up of over 100 businesses. The group is headquartered in the United Kingdom and has an established presence in more than 40 countries around the world.

For over 30 years, RSK has been helping organisations realise their business goals efficiently, cost-effectively and with the minimum environmental and social impact. We deliver practical solutions to some of the greatest challenges of our time. As a client-focused business, our services are constantly evolving to directly respond to or pre-empt global conditions and legislative drivers.

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Media contacts 

Binnies UK  

Angela Collins Tel: +44 (0)1737 856399 | Mobile: +44 (0)7391 639733 | Email:collinsa@binnies.com