‘Benchmark’ for Bardon

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Bardon Aggregates has been awarded the first Scottish Biodiversity Benchmark for sustained land management at its quarries at Powmyre, near Glamis, and at Duntilland.

The construction company took up the challenge during International Year of Biodiversity, to seek The Wildlife Trust’s Biodiversity Benchmark - a rigorously audited certification which allows businesses to demonstrate commitment to local wildlife.

Both Bardon Aggregates sites gained the award for their continuing commitment to creating and improving wildlife habitats around the quarries.

Jonathan Hughes, director of conservation for the Scottish Wildlife Trust, said: “The Wildlife Trusts’ Biodiversity Benchmark award helps companies assess their impact on the natural world and develop better ways of protecting biodiversity on their own holdings.

“I’m delighted that Bardon Aggregates has been awarded the Benchmark in Scotland for its Duntilland and Powmyre quarry sites. By taking part in the Benchmark award, Bardon Aggregates has not only improved biodiversity on two of its flagship sites, it is also blazing a trail for other companies in Scotland to follow.”

Duntilland Quarry, the 165 hectare hard rock extraction operation adjacent to the M8 in North Lanarkshire, has been managed with sensitivity to wildlife over the past decade.

To achieve the Biodiversity Benchmark, staff and management have worked to an exacting Biodiversity Action Plan to ensure proper site management, allowing wildlife value to be improved for the long term. Quarry staff monitor and report on birds around the rock faces, noting behavioural changes.

Powmyre Quarry is located in Angus on the Strathmore estate at Glamis. This 97 hectare sand and gravel operation has only been open since 2007 and is providing habitats for UK Biodiversity Action Plan species such as the brown hare and enhancing key habitats like wet woodland.

Bruce Young, Quarry Manager at Powmyre, said: “Our site now has bird boxes which have been supported by our local school. Staff monitor and record birds and mammals on site - something which may not have happened had it not been for the Benchmark.

“Whilst attaining our Biodiversity Benchmark was hard work and time consuming, we feel the long term payback of enhancement across Powmyre Quarry, and the development of our relationship with our community and external partners, more than exceeds the initial investment of time.”

The pioneering Biodiversity Benchmark enables organisations across the country to assess the quality of their land management, improve their contribution to the environment and demonstrate their commitment to biodiversity through performance and partnership.

Similar to other standards for management systems, the Biodiversity Benchmark is composed of a set of detailed requirements which an organisation must be able to demonstrate they can meet. Furthermore, it is the first truly recognised endorsement to acknowledge organisations who continually commit to biodiversity improvement.