Award winning success for project to green Cornwall’s towns
One of CEC’s flagship projects for Cornwall Council and Cormac recently celebrated winning a hat trick of coveted national awards. The Green Infrastructure for Growth Project (GI4G) scooped three accolades for Cormac at the construction industry’s BIG Biodiversity Challenge Awards, including overall winner.
The BIG Biodiversity Challenge is an initiative run by the construction industry research and information association (CIRIA) to raise awareness of the importance of protecting and enhancing biodiversity in the built environment. An award from the group is one of the most respected and coveted accolades professionals can receive.
Transforming spaces for people and nature
CEC worked with Cormac on the delivery of the £2.8m project to transform 40 hectares of public open space in seven towns across Cornwall. The grassed areas, equivalent to 35 rugby pitches, looked healthy but were underused by local people and had little interest for wildlife. CEC was tasked with transforming these ‘green deserts’ of heavily mown grass and improving the spaces for both people and wildlife.
The team created pollinator-friendly planting plans, wildflower meadows, orchards, ponds and installed bird, bat and dormouse boxes on the sites. They also created a bespoke management plan for each site designed to reduce maintenance costs.
People living near the transformed green areas are already noticing the results, a local resident commented: “Since the flowers have been planted there has been a big increase in the number of bees and butterflies in the area which is fantastic. Not only does this make the playing field a more usable place it has increased the wildlife seen throughout the estate which is truly wonderful.”
Going above and beyond
The project certainly impressed the BIG Biodiversity Challenge judges and Cormac won three of the top awards for going above and beyond what was expected, the project’s extensive benefits to biodiversity and the fact the judges viewed it as being highly replicable.
Dominic Bostock, interim managing director for Cormac said: “We’re delighted to have received national recognition from the BIG Biodiversity Challenge for our projects which have made a difference in our public urban spaces. GI4G has provided opportunities for community engagement and education across the towns.”
Rob Nolan, Cornwall Council’s cabinet portfolio holder for the environment and public protection, commented: “We are delighted the Green Infrastructure for Growth project has been recognised nationally as leading the way in helping transform land in urban areas to make them better places for people and for wildlife.
“So many of our residents came out and got involved in transforming these beautiful new green spaces and are now benefitting from increased opportunities to be out in nature. Encouraging people to get out into nature more and promoting biodiversity are key ways we want to help everyone make choices that lead to lower carbon emissions as part of our climate change action plan.”
For more information on green infrastructure benefits please visit our landscape pages.