Hairy wood ants, horseshoe bats and sand lizards were just some of the unusual topics of conversation at this weeks annual Network Rail Environment Awards.
These and many other rare creatures benefited from some of the many environmental protection schemes put in place on Carillion sites across the country and helped it to win the large contractors prize.
The awards, held last Tuesday at the Tate Britain in London, were attended by 160 invited guests who saw Network Rail chief executive John Armitt present prizes.
“As major players in the construction industry we realise at Network Rail that we have a responsibility to the environment we work in,” said Armitt. “These awards recognise the efforts made by both Network Rail and our suppliers to create a positive effect in that environment.”
This week’s event was the fourth year that the awards have taken place and was aimed at rewarding individuals and organisations that have gone beyond their legal and contractual requirements in the field of environment.
Network Rail’s Toby Meadows, responsible for lineside management in Eastern Region, won the individual award for what the judges described as his “enthusiasm” and “willingness to go beyond the call of duty”.
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Other winners included Avondale Environmental in the small to medium contractor class; Piccadilly Station in Manchester won the stations award and the West Anglia Route Modernisation won the major project.
Holdfast Level Crossings won the supplier award for its rubber level crossings, which are made from used vehicle tyres. This unique system not only provides a robust, skid resistant surface, but also led to over 1.5M rubber tyres being recycled in 2001 for the West Coast Main Line upgrade works alone!
Network Rail’s Eastern Region won region of the year, with the judges impressed with amongst other things its pursuit of fly tippers and vandals and its positive approach to protected areas. Major Stations won the Network Rail HQ Directorate award for their attention to environmental considerations in station design.
The Bittern Line partnership was specially commended for its success in developing the rural line. Thameslink won best train operator.