Winners of the BIG Biodiversity Challenge Awards 2021

Image of bee hotel at the Wild Glades.

The 2021 BIG Biodiversity Challenge Awards have reached a thrilling finale with the announcement of this year’s winners across eight hotly contested categories, along with the overall winner. The #BIGAwards ceremony was held in a virtual format online for the first time in the event’s history.

Launched in 2013 by CIRIA’s Biodiversity Interest Group (BIG), the BIG Biodiversity Challenge and its ethos to ‘Do One Thing’ for biodiversity has captured the attention of the construction industry. Since the inaugural awards, the Challenge has received over 700 case studies (entries), presented 37 Awards, plus 6 overall winners, as well as 3 BIG Biodiversity Champions.

Master of Ceremonies for the Awards was Jim McClelland, Founder and Editor of SustMeme, with keynote guest speakers being Gill Perkins, CEO, Bumblebee Conservation Trust and David Elliott, Chief Executive, Trees for Cities

Acknowledging the importance of biodiversity enhancement, Jim McClelland, Founder and Editor, SustMeme and MC for the 2021 #BIGAwards ceremony said:

“Ahead of COP26, where we hope to see biodiversity and the protection of natural habitats high on the global agenda, it is a real tonic to witness the range of projects, plus the breadth and passion of the participants involved in the BIG Awards. The long-lasting positive impacts and multiple, shared benefits that biodiversity enhancement brings to both the environment and society truly are something to celebrate.”

Speaking at the Awards, David Elliott, Chief Executive, Trees for Cities concluded:

“Warmest congratulations to the winners of this year’s BIG Biodiversity Challenge Awards. The depth and breadth of entries was very impressive and provided a clear representation of how central biodiversity must be in the design and development of the places where we live, work and play.”

For 2021, this year’s BIG Biodiversity Challenge Awards Overall winner is Wild GladesThe Glades Shopping Centre for LaSalle Investment Management. The Wild Glades project has turned a major shopping centre, which attracts over four million visitors a year, into a place where wildlife flourishes on the outside, and ecological engagement and learning is celebrated on the inside, becoming a beacon for sustainability in action. 

On winning, Ian Boyd, Director, Arc Consulting part of the project team said:

“The Glades is a stand-out example of how to make ESG real, immediate and effective. The fact that the team’s work has been recognised in such a significant way sends a powerful message to the built asset and development industry.”

Alexandra Randall, Sustainability Associate, LaSalle, added:

“We are thrilled to have been selected as the overall winner of the CIRIA Big Biodiversity Challenge award. ‘Rewilding’ and ‘Social Value’ are two of our ESG pillars at LaSalle and this project demonstrates the important link between nature and local communities as well as the many benefits of delivering biodiversity enhancement in the built environment. Credit to Arc, our ecology partners and the onsite team at The Glades for the success of the project.”

The full roll-call of #BIGAwards winners and sponsors is as follows:

Slide announcing Overall Winner Award presented to The Wild Glades project.

Overall winner — prize sponsored by Wildflower Turf Ltd

  • Wild Glades, The Glades Shopping Centre 
  • LaSalle Investment Management

Client Award  sponsored by Kier

  • Heathrow Airport 
  • Heathrow Airport Ltd 

Community Engagement Award  sponsored by Arcadis

  • Wild Glades, The Glades Shopping Centre 
  • LaSalle Investment Management 

Habitat Creation: Project of the Year medium/large scale Award  sponsored by Berkeley Group

  • Tilbury 2
  • GRAHAM

Habitat Creation: Project of the Year small scale Award  sponsored by Trustmgt

  • Marineff project – Artificial Rockpools 
  • Bournemouth University and Artecology

Innovation Award  sponsored by Heathrow

  • Arborfield Cross Relief Road
  • Wokingham Borough Council 

Biodiversity Legacy Award  sponsored by Berkeley Group

  • Biodiversity at Green Park
  • Mapletree Investments Pte Ltd

Pollinator Award  sponsored by J Murphy & Sons

  • Bee Friendly Campaign
  • Meadfleet Limited 

Construction Phase Award  sponsored by National Highways

  • BeeOmonitoring at Hallsville Quarter (HQ) development
  • Bouygues UK and Linkcity

CIRIA and the BIG Biodiversity Interest Group

CIRIA is the Construction Industry Research and Information Association — an independent, not-for-profit, member-based organisation that exists to champion performance improvement in construction.

Since 1960, CIRIA has delivered support and guidance to the construction, built environment and infrastructure sectors, working with members from all parts of the supply chain. Its guidance is delivered through publications, training and other performance-improvement activities. 

CIRIA’s Biodiversity Interest Group acts as a working group to focus on delivering tangible outputs. It sees biodiversity as a key emerging issue that needs a clearer understanding within the industry. Currently, unless there is a protected species or habitat involved, biodiversity enhancements are voluntary, but the Group wants to see measures going further than this.

Led by CIRIA’s Biodiversity Interest Group, the BIG Biodiversity Challenge invites the industry to add one new biodiversity enhancement to a construction site, development or existing building — however big or small, permanent or temporary — and to be creative about enhancing biodiversity.

Full details of the successful entries from this year’s #BIGAwards can be viewed in the 2021 Winners gallery.


Full disclosure: Founder & Editor of SustMeme, Jim McClelland was the Master of Ceremonies for the #BIGAwards 2021.


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