Eelevator project reaches the top

Posted on: June 22, 2019 at 6:32 am
Picture shows from left to right Ian Hodson (Island Roads Structures Manager), Jo Huett (Island Roads Structures Project Manager), Ian Bod (Arc Consulting Director) and Peter Johnson, (Group Environmental Manager at Kier who sponsored the Client Award category).

A project to help migrating eels navigate a newly upgraded watercourse has been recognised at a prestigious industry awards ceremony.

The so-called ‘Eelevator’ created at Holbrooke’s Stream at Bouldnor in a project involving Island Roads, the Environment Agency, environmental consultancy Arc and Artecology has been highly commended at the annual Construction Industry Research and Information Association (CIRIA) awards.

A team from Island Roads picked up their certificate for the BIG Biodiversity Challenge Client Award category during a ceremony in London recently.

The project was nominated for the award by Artecology/Arc Consulting:

Ian Boyd, director of Arc Consulting, said: “‘We’re delighted that Island Roads have received this commendation for their work at Holbrooke’s Stream.

“It’s an excellent example of collaboration between the Environment Agency, the construction industry and local conservation organisations, showing what can be achieved when you look for imaginative opportunities for wildlife in otherwise ordinary infrastructure projects.’

Nationally, eel numbers have declined recently and one theory for this is that they are unable to navigate man-made structures such as weirs and culverts on watercourses. The ‘Eelevator’ project includes a series of textured tiles produced to help ease the eels’ passage upstream.

The conservation work – part of a wider Island Roads scheme to upgrade the structure – will mean the local eel population is able to continue its journey unimpeded.

As a neutral, independent and not-for-profit body, CIRIA links organisations with common interests and facilitates a range of collaborative activities that help improve the industry.