• Matthew Bayliss

enims receive Environmental award at Area 3 Supply Chain Community Awards Evening

The 22nd of November marked the annual Area 3 Supply Chain Community workshop and Awards evening, this year being especially poignant by celebrating a decade of delivery in Area 3.

During the Awards evening enims were nominated for the environmental award following work on the M27 Junction Three Drainage and Biodiversity Enhancement project alongside R&W and the Kier Environment Team. We were honoured and very proud to then go on and win this prestigious award.

Works were undertaken south of the westbound carriageway of the M27, Junction 3 to clear and re-profile the drainage system in place.

The aims of the project were to remove overgrown vegetation along the length of the drainage, remove the large amounts of silt in the drainage basin and reprofile the bank to provide improved carrying capacity and to provide access for future works. This drainage area is important to ensure correct dispersal of rain water flowing from the carriageway, without this surrounding areas would be at risk of flooding.

At the start of the project the area was extremely overgrown, light was unable to reach the drainage ditch itself due to the volume of brambles and woody vegetation thus limiting the aquatic plant potential. The ditch itself remained stagnant for most of the year with anoxic ‘dead zones’ present, lack of oxygen presenting lethal conditions to aquatic and plant life. Access to the site was difficult and required working at steep gradients, making future works difficult.

The first stage of the project involved removal of excess vegetation to provide access for operatives and plant. Strimmer, chainsaw and brush cutter were used to remove the dense tangle of vegetation, ecological supervision from trained ecologists was always present to protect any existing nesting birds or protected species. Excavators were then used to cut an access path into the hillside to provide access for plant and operatives and proving safe working conditions for future works.

Sedmiment from the drinage ditch was dredged out and transported off site providing continuity and access to the entire drainge system for aquatic life, especially important for aquatic mamals and invertibrates.

enims has provided a large volume of wildflower seeds and bordering aquatic plants which will be planted along the newly profiled banks to provide a diverse wildflower meadow, encouraging a large range of pollinators and invertebrates which are important for improving surrounding ecosystems and supporting bird and bat species in the area. The drainage itself now provides excellent potential for a wide variety of aquatic life and it is hoped will play host to mammals such as water vole as well as bird and invertebrate life.

The path bordering the project was also cleared of overhanging vegetation providing access to the public footpath to allow members of the public to see the wildflowers and enjoy the scenery. The cleared drainage area provides a perfect commuting and feeding roost for bats in the area and a source of food for the range of bird species found in the area.

It is hoped that this project will benefit local ecosystems, promote biodiversity and ensure that the environment and the highways can co-exist without harm.