Midas Construction – overcoming challenges posed by discovering endangered species on site

Midas Construction Ltd were praised for community innovation, whilst embarking upon the Somerset Energy Innovation Centre project in Bridgwater, Somerset.

The centre aims to bring hundreds of jobs to the area by providing 2,400 square metres of flexible office space and meeting rooms, to support the start-up and growth of low-carbon businesses in Somerset and the South West.

Building work on the Innovation Centre aimed to maximise business opportunities from Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, by allowing businesses to access national and international energy sectors.

With ecology and the survival of an endangered species of great crested newts integral to the project, the team went over and above good community practice by involving 220 children from Eastover Primary School, in an educational nature film about newts.

This project demanded a great deal of consideration and planning to overcome such obstacles and the site took this issue in their stride and embraced the opportunity to interact with a neighbouring school.

Here are some examples of best practice initiatives carried out by Midas Construction:

  • Interactive windows were installed along the hoarding to show the control measures implemented by the team to keep the newts safe during the construction process.
  • The site embraced the opportunity to engage with a local school by developing a character called Charlie Newt and inviting 220 enthusiastic children to participate in an educational nature film made by the site team. This helped younger children to understand more about the nature and wildlife on and around site.
  • The team sought to help local children with their future careers by engaging with Bridgwater College and inviting some of their students to help build on-site and to learn about the industry. This provided beneficial work experience opportunities to local college students from the Construction Skills Centre.
  • The site was heavily populated by great crested newts, so a special newt fence was constructed around the land and every inch of the area was hand-inspected to make sure there were no newts on site, before any work could be started.
  • The Environment Agency assisted the site team in their mission to protect the great crested newts. Midas also employed its own ecology consultant, to continuously monitor the land for the endangered creatures.
  • Environmental issues were further considered and the site implemented environmentally friendly solar panels, eco-cabins and recycled rainwater.
  • Recycled benches and bird tables were put in place around the site as a contemplation area for staff.
  • A safety league table rewarded the best performing subcontractor by giving their operatives new winter working PPE.
  • There was an anti-bullying section to the induction and a message in 56 different languages should non-English speakers be present.
  • Offensive language was discouraged with a swear box in the canteen with the proceedings of £50 donated to a charity.

Click here to find a related example of best practice on the Hub, or view the short film below to find out more about Midas Construction’s efforts.


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