JS Agriculture has landed a three-year grounds maintenance contract at Gatwick Airport worth more than £1.2m.
The airport is one of the world's busiest and has major biodiversity ambitions for its north and south terminals. These are surrounded by 220ha of grass, 50ha of woodland, 15ha of shrubs and 42km of river and ditches.
"Aviation and airports are in the public eye on environmental impact and future expansion. We want to increase the biodiversity value of this airport," explained a spokesman for Gatwick.
The site has large expanses of grass and wildlife areas while parts of the River Mole meander through the land near Crawley. As well as mowing, JS Agriculture has to undertake conservation and adopt a long-grass policy in certain areas to deter birds.
Managing director John Straka said: "We have a great track record of delivering high-quality airside works in an environment where safety is mission-critical."
Business development director David Mulholland added: "The most challenging aspect is working closely around moving aircraft with large machinery and being flexible to work with tight security, which can mean a 10-minute airside job may take half a day.
"We also maintain the airside grass at Heathrow and Southampton Airports and work at military aerodromes where safety is critical."
Gatwick Airport senior commercial facilities manager Philip Tidbury said: "It's good to welcome JS Agriculture and we look forward to building a strong relationship with the team."
£1.2m - Total grounds upkeep budget at Gatwick Airport over three years.