At Dyer & Butler, we are committed to protecting the environments in which we work. Recently, our team has worked to ensure local biodiversity has been preserved throughout emergency works for our client, Network Rail.

Our team undertook emergency landslip repairs on the railway line near Edenbridge, which allowed passenger services to resume running between Sussex and Kent.

Holly van Driel, Sustainability Advisor at Dyer & Butler, directed and informed the design and construction team on how to protect the local biodiversity that surrounded the works, with the site having an active badger set nearby, alongside the potential for bats, dormice and reptiles.

Our ecologists undertook regular briefings with the team on the ecological risks, which helped increase awareness, with the active badger set our core focus. This also provided an opportunity to upskill the team on ecology.

Our team used several large trees felled to undertake the works to create habitat log piles along the embankment, as well as donating smaller logs to lineside neighbours for firewood and craft projects.

Engaging with a lineside neighbour who works as a wood sculptor, some of the felled wood has been used to create a bespoke badger sculpture, which will be placed at the edge of Network Rail’s boundary, where the public footpath runs alongside.

The sculpture will be accompanied by a QR code so that members of the public can scan and view a video on how we managed our impact on the environment, leaving a lasting legacy for the local community.

With the line shut to complete the works, we used this opportunity to clean up the local stations in the area while they were not being serviced. The team undertook litter picks at these stations, while also providing information to members of the public regarding the works.

We also introduced solar site accommodation, which included solar powered lighting in our main compound, in addition to a solar unit that had rainwater harvesting built in in our smaller compound, so that grey water could be used in toilets.

Speaking on the importance of protecting local biodiversity throughout the emergency works, Holly van Driel, said: “Our operations often directly interact with biodiversity and it is our priority that we protect local wildlife and habitats in line with the mitigation hierarchy, but also that we enhance biodiversity through net gain initiatives to leave a positive legacy on our environments.

“At Bough Beech we were able to protect the local wildlife, even in an emergency situation, through working collaboratively with Network Rail, our ecologists, local stakeholders and supply chain to identify solutions. Our interaction with biodiversity was core consideration in decision making through from design to construction, with a strong focus on best practice and beyond purely legislative compliance.”

We continue to work alongside our ecologists and Network Rail to provide a biodiversity net gain plan as we work to de-mobilise the site, alongside habitat enhancements.

At M Group Services, we are passionate about protecting people and the planet in line with our Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) commitments.