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Amey improving biodiversity at DIO site in Scotland

Critical facilities and asset management services provider, Amey, is working alongside the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) to transform local grass land into havens for wildlife.

Through its defence housing contract, the DIO granted permission for Amey to change nearly one hector of short mown grass into meadow fields at its Service Family Accommodation site in Helensburgh, Scotland.

Amey is now reviewing ground maps to identify opportunities for further initiatives.

Since the 1920’s the UK has seen a sharp decline in meadowland. This is largely due to agriculture and the growth of urban areas. But long grass and wildflowers are a very important habitat for insects and pollinators, and also attract bird and mammal species who are all essential to the environmental sustainability of our countryside.

During its first year, the Amey team will look to see which grass and flower species are naturally present, and this will inform any future development with bulbs, seeds or plug plants. The site will not only increase the biodiversity of the estate, but provide visual interest, and a focal point for the community. Schemes such as this also have various commercial benefits for clients – with the untamed nature of these areas resulting in reduced maintenance programmes.

Catherine Whiteside, Grounds Manager for Defence Housing, commented: “Helensburgh is the first meadow field project we have seen on our defence housing contract, and I couldn’t be happier. The benefits are huge to both local wildlife, and the wider community. As a society I believe we are becoming more aware of the impact we are having on the environment around us, and this is a simple step we can take as a contractor to improve biodiversity across our areas of operation.”

As the site develops the team also hope to introduce a number of community benefits including benches, tree planting, bug hotels, and educational spaces for local nurseries and schools to make use of.

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