Atkins secures ecology work

Ecological work at the Olympic Park in east London has helped engineering design firm Atkins secure a deal with the Environment Agency.

The agency has contracted Atkins to provide advice in freshwater ecology and conservation management across England and Wales for the next two years.

The work, which comes, under the Ecological Services Framework, could potentially be extended by two further 12-month stints. Atkins has been appointed to national Ecological Services Framework lot 1, which relates to aquatic and terrestrial ecology.

Project manager Helen Gavin explained that the work continued the firm's "long-standing relationship" with the Environment Agency. Last year, it was awarded a two-year extension to the agency's National Engineering & Environmental Consultancy Agreement and was recognised with an excellence award for habitat creation in the Anglian region in 2008.

Gavin said the team could draw on experience of ecological management, such as at the Olympic Park, where Atkins staff have been involved in relocating sensitive wildlife species so work can proceed.

"Atkins has an excellent track record in ecology and habitat management with a diverse team of hydrologists and ecologists across the business," Gavin explained. "We have expert knowledge of legislation relating to conservation and the aquatic environment so will be able to help the agency ensure that it continues to build on its commitment to ecological biodiversity while meeting legislative demands.

"The Water Framework Directive is having a huge impact across the UK and we are using our hydro-ecology skills to ensure our water bodies achieve good ecological status."

Atkins will provide expert advice on habitat management and restoration, biodiversity action plans and protected and non-native species.

The firm recently designed a diagonal pedestrian crossing at London's Oxford Circus to help ease overcrowding.

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