RSK Habitat Management has been set up jointly by RSK and its 2016 acquisition ADAS. It will deliver ecological contracting and habitat creation work for the group. Five RSK and ADAS directors will chair the business: Ian Strudwick, Sarah Mogford, Annie Boulter, Sam Lowe and Dan Thomas. Dan will be the managing director and run the day-to-day operations of the business from Bristol. Working nationally and capitalising on RSK’s UK-wide network of offices and depots, RSK Habitat Management can provide high-quality contracting solutions to a diverse client base.
“Our focus is providing a high-quality service for our clients; one in which we are ensuring client satisfaction and concentrating on biodiversity. Cutting-edge, industry-leading solutions are at the core of everything we do,” comments RSK Habitat Management managing director Dan Thomas. “Both RSK and ADAS have long identified the need to provide an in-house contracting solution. There has been a recent industry change and a shift towards landscape-scale mitigation strategies: a holistic approach that looks at the bigger picture and works on a larger scale with biodiversity at its core.
“This is largely due to the Natural England Woking pilot scheme, which aims to set up a new approach to protecting great crested newts and their habitats. This move towards a landscape-scale approach involves creating more newt habitat through pond construction, improving habitat connectivity and tree and pond planting. It represents a shift towards looking at improving habitat on a population level, rather than on an individual site basis. Because of this, we felt that now is the best time to start a new business and position ourselves at the forefront of an exciting and rapidly developing market.
“RSK and ADAS already have extensive experience of ecological mitigation, for example, on the onshore cable routeing of the East Anglia ONE and Rampion offshore wind farm nationally significant infrastructure projects. This work included translocating of reptiles and newts, creating artificial badger setts and water vole supervision. Together, we are well-positioned for success,” Dan says.
The type of projects RSK Habitat Management will be working on include habitat creation, for example, ponds for aquatic species, habitat translocation and biodiversity offsetting to compensate for biodiversity impacts associated with development. A full list of services is available below. The team will focus on achieving a biodiversity net gain for every project, which means leaving a site’s biodiversity in a better state before.
“Increasing biodiversity can have a significant impact, not just on the local wildlife population but also on local residents and stakeholders,” continues Dan. “The creation of green areas and infrastructure can significantly improve the health of the surrounding population by reducing stress and enabling recreational activities to take place.”
- RSK Habitat Management is the UK’s only specialist environmental consultancy that can provide in-house ecological contracting services and expertise.
- Although only launched this week, the team already has extensive experience of delivering ecological mitigation measures and habitat creation projects on some of the UK’s biggest infrastructure, energy and housing projects, including HS2, East West Rail phases 1 and 2, CP5, M1 All Lanes Running, Stanton Cross, the Wellesley development, Northstowe new town and the Dudgeon wind farm onshore cable route.
- The business can provide a turnkey solution by calling on internal agricultural, ecological, civil engineering, soil, hydrological and environmental specialist consultants to provide bespoke, cost-effective solutions for its clients.
- Habitat creation
- Aquatic habitat creation
- Wildlife fencing for newts, reptiles, badgers, otters and water voles
- Habitat translocation, including grass, trees and woodlands
- Implementing biodiversity offsetting requirements
- Invasive species management for non-native flora
- Soft landscaping
- Landscape management and maintenance
- Mechanical tree and vegetation clearance
- Agricultural fencing and accesses
- Major infrastructure
- Major housing developments
- Major commercial developments.
“We aim to deliver projects using our own, trained workforce and an internal fleet of specialist plant and equipment,” concludes Dan, “The business will focus heavily on providing client-led solutions, with innovation at the heart of all its activities. There are ambitious plans involving the use of geographic information system, unmanned aerial vehicles and remote-controlled machinery, so watch out for future announcements.”