The A465 Heads of the Valley Project Section 2 has been awarded the Institute of Chartered Engineers (ICE) Chair’s Special award at the 2022 ICE Wales Cymru Annual Awards.
This is a discretionary award presented by the Chair, to recognise a project that has demonstrated exceptional skill and expertise or made an exceptional contribution to the civil engineering profession.
This is in no small part down to the excellent ecological work undertaken on the scheme by Costain, RPS and Richard Green Ecology, including mitigation and compensation for lesser horseshoe bats, part of the Usk Bat Sites Special Area of Conservation.
Richard Green Ecology has been involved in this scheme since the beginning, being part of the bid team and altering the original inherited design to benefit bats. Mitigation employed includes multiple safe road crossings, hectares of new woodland foraging habitat, and several new roosts, one of which is being used by approximately 50 lesser horseshoe bats and, for the first time in autumn 2022, a greater horseshoe bat (pictured).
Monitoring during construction has seen bat numbers increasing, indicating that the scheme has had no adverse effects on the bat population. Monitoring will continue for at least another five years post-construction. For more information, check out this presentation to the International Conference on Ecology and Transportation in 2021.