A14 scheme 'to have positive biodiversity impact'

08/04/2021
Chris Ames

Highways England’s A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon scheme is predicted to add to the amount and quality of habitat for wildlife, according to a new report.

The £1.5bn scheme, a joint venture between Costain, Skanska and Balfour Beatty (the A14 Integrated Delivery Team), opened to drivers ahead of schedule last May 2020.

Using Natural England’s Biodiversity Metric, environmental experts within the Integrated Delivery Team predicted that the scheme will result in a net 11.5% increase in biodiversity units. A biodiversity unit represents the distinctiveness, condition, and size of a habitat, which can help assess whether a project results in a loss or positive gain of habitats and wildlife.

Across the length of the scheme, more than a square mile of new habitat was created for wildlife, including landscaping roadside verges and transforming borrow pits into a mixture of woodland, grassland, wetland, and open water habitat.

The team also planted 860,000 trees, put up 360 bat boxes, 90 bird boxes, 24 swift boxes, 22 barn owl boxes and 24 kestrel boxes.

The scheme constructed 24 wildlife tunnels, giving animals such as otters and water voles a safe place to cross the new road. Animals are directed away from the road to the tunnels with directional planting.

Laura Hampshire, Highways England senior project manager, said: ‘We designed the A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon improvement scheme in a way that would reduce the impact on the surrounding landscape and wildlife. Our ambition from the beginning was to have a positive impact on local wildlife and the places they call home.

‘We’re extremely happy that our work has been recognised by environment experts, who agree that our project is predicted to have a positive impact in creating homes for wildlife.’ Costain said its environmental experts managed the planting of more than 40 different native tree and shrub species, almost 25 miles of hedgerow and 220 hectares of habitats, including native woodland and shrubs.

It acknowledged that it will take about 15 years for the planting to look as it does in the flythrough video, but said wildlife has already started to use what has been provided, so as the planting matures this will encourage more into the area.

Group environment manager Geraint Rowland said: ‘In 2019, we achieved our Climate Change Action Plan target for all contracts to measure their biodiversity impacts using a no-net loss calculation. In 2020 we further developed this important element of our action plan by including natural capital, biodiversity mapping, and GIS measurement for all relevant contracts, using our leading edge digital technology solutions.

‘By 2030 our ambition is for all contracts to achieve a predicted net positive biodiversity impact and increased natural capital value, as the A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon improvement scheme has done.’

Latest Issue

latest magazine issue

Inside

  • The £2.5bn Surrey partnering contract
  • The politics of protest
  • Stoke's roadworks league
View the latest issue


Highways jobs

Assistant Director for Environment

£87,600 - £93,600
To help us achieve our transformation we are introducing an updated business plan, and a revised senior structure with... Wiltshire
Recruiter: Wiltshire Council

Assistant Highway Manager

£35,745 - £43,857 per annum plus £2,000 per annum Market Forces Payment
We are looking for enthusiastic and pro-active individuals to join the service who are articulate communicators and have strong negotiation skills. Hertford, Hertfordshire
Recruiter: Hertfordshire County Council

Highways Locality Manager

£43,857 - £46,845 per annum plus £3,000 Market Forces Supplement per annum
We are looking for an enthusiastic and pro-active individual to join the service who is an articulate communicator and has strong negotiation skills. Hertford, Hertfordshire
Recruiter: Hertfordshire County Council

Senior Drainage Asset Manager

£43,857 - £46,845 per annum plus £2,000 per annum Market Forces Supplement
As Senior Drainage Asset Manager your focus will mainly be on helping develop our emerging Drainage Strategy. Hertford, Hertfordshire
Recruiter: Hertfordshire County Council

Engineer Project Manager, Drainage

£32,234 - £43,857 per annum + £2,000 per annum Market Forces Payment
As an Engineering Project Manager your focus will mainly be on emerging drainage issues as they relate to the Public Highway. Hertford, Hertfordshire
Recruiter: Hertfordshire County Council

Transport Development Officer

£39,880 - £43,857 per annum
A flexible working offer that allows you to have a true work/life balance. Northallerton, North Yorkshire
Recruiter: North Yorkshire County Council

Recycling Manager

£41,952 - £48,663
The position sits within the North London Waste Authority’s (NLWA’s) Strategy and Services team, managing... Camden, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Camden London Borough Council

Traffic Management Officer - Carlisle

£31.346 - £32.234
This role involves working within the traffic team liaising with members of the public and councillors agreeing and... Cumbria
Recruiter: Cumbria County Council

Street Lighting Operatives

£22,183 - £23,080
We are looking for the right candidates to join our team as Street Lighting Operatives. Workington, Cumbria
Recruiter: Cumbria County Council

Senior Engineer Structures - Asset Management & Inspection

£37,890 - £40,876
Join the successful structures team who have won a number of awards. Yate
Recruiter: South Gloucestershire Council

Senior Engineer Structures - Design & Assessment

£37,890 - £40,876
Join the successful structures team who have won a number of awards. Yate
Recruiter: South Gloucestershire Council

Engineer Structures x2 Posts

£33,782 - £36,922
Working in the structures team, you will be a vital team member. Yate
Recruiter: South Gloucestershire Council

Engineering Manager

£46,756 - £54,238 per annum
The Engineering Manager is a key member of the service management team within CATS and plays a... Camden, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Camden London Borough Council

Local Highway Officer

£22,183 - £32,234
The Local Highway Officer role is based in the Highway Service. Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire
Recruiter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Environmental Health/Environmental Protection Officer - Noise

£41,607.00 - £44,598.00
This post attracts an essential car user allowance. The post holder is able to take part in the Council's flexible working scheme. Tower Hamlets, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Tower Hamlets London Borough Council

Engineering Manager

£46,756 - £54,238 per annum
The Engineering Team is responsible for the management of the Council’s fleet of vehicles (circa 330), ensuring... Camden, London (Greater)
Recruiter: Camden London Borough Council

Street Care Operative

Grade 3 - Starting at £18,657 per annum, rising to £19,905
The Council’s Street Care service is responsible for the cleanliness of the whole borough and undertake a range of street cleaning and street care ... Chelmsford, Essex
Recruiter: Chelmsford City Council

Neighbourhood Highways Officers (Western Team)

£28,672 - £32,234 per annum
We are seeking to recruit two Neighbourhood Highways Officers, to be based in Okehampton. Devon
Recruiter: Devon County Council

Demand Responsive Transport Officer

£32,234 pa - £34,728 pa
The role sits within the Integrated Transport Unit. Hertfordshire
Recruiter: Hertfordshire County Council

Head of Highways

£68,640 - £76,148 per annum
We are absolutely delighted to announce that Cheshire West and Chester are looking for a Head of Highways. Chester, Cheshire
Recruiter: Cheshire West & Chester

Highways Presents

Highways on Fridays

Register now!

Latest Video