Presentation by Lucie Anderton – Head of Sustainability and Environment, The East West Rail Alliance and Julia Baker – Biodiversity Technical Specialist, Balfour Beatty to the BBOP Community of Practice on March 23, 2017.
East West Rail Phase Two is achieving ‘Biodiversity Net Gain’ by partnering with local stakeholders to support their priorities for nature conservation. The team will present their stakeholder engagement process, the business benefits from this inclusive approach, and their lessons learnt.
East West Rail is to establish a strategic railway connection across mid, west and south England. Its Phase Two (EWR2) committed to “delivering a measureable net biodiversity gain and positively contributing to the conservation of nature in the region”, and to using the mitigation hierarchy to achieve this. To install and then operate the new infrastructure of EWR2, vegetation must be removed although re-planting habitats on railway land is restricted because of operational and safety issues. This has meant that delivering Net Positive on-site is not possible and, as a last resort, biodiversity offsetting is being considered.
EWR2 engaged with local government, wildlife groups and landowners during its Environmental Impact Assessment, before impacts on biodiversity were fully known. Its aims were for these stakeholders to have a say in decisions on Net Positive and for investment in Net Positive to support their priorities for nature conservation. In this webinar, the team will describe their engagement process with stakeholders, how they managed stakeholder input into decision-making and the business benefits from this approach. They will also present their ‘lessons learnt’ from a major infrastructure project that supports nature conservation work undertaken by local organisations.