Pioneering nutrient mitigation work recognised at national awards
At the national CIEEM awards in London, Havant Borough Council – with Natural England and the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust won two prestigious awards recognising the ecological and environmental credentials of a nutrient mitigation scheme in the borough.
Winning prizes for innovation and a thought-provoking article, which included case studies from Havant Borough Council and Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, entitled "Solent Nutrients: An opportunity to build back better?", the ground-breaking work to stop new developments adding unwanted nutrients to the Solent coastline has achieved the national recognition that it deserves.
The innovative mitigation project at Warblington Farm was developed in partnership with Natural England, and funding from the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership. By converting former agricultural land to a nature reserve, Havant Borough Council were able to begin allowing development within the borough again, at no ongoing cost to residents. The multi-functional approach counterbalances nutrients from new housing, protects the world class coastline and provides additional benefits for endangered bird species.
In the award-winning article, written by Allison Potts, David Hayward and Debbie Tann and published in CIEEM’s In Practice magazine, Natural England set out the context and background to the issue of nutrients in the Solent, with Havant Borough Council and the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust sharing practical case studies of mitigation that deliver a range of additional benefits (such as Little Duxmore Farm on the Isle of Wight, the Wildlife Trust’s first nitrate mitigation site which removes nitrogen through rewilding). CIEEM’s judging panel found this to be the most influential and thought-provoking article of the year.
Both the article and the Warblington Farm project highlight the benefits of collaboration across sectors for securing sustainable development in the truest sense of the word – a perspective endorsed by their success at these awards.
"I'm delighted to see Havant Borough Council's excellent mitigation package being recognised at such a significant event" said Councillor Alex Rennie, Leader of Havant Borough Council. "It also gives me great pride to see how through strong partnership working with organisations such as Natural England and the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, we can achieve significant and long-lasting benefits for our landscape."
Allison Potts, Area Manager for Natural England’s Thames Solent Team said “These awards endorse our terrific partnership working, which is delivering improvements for both people and nature. Ensuring that new development doesn’t add damaging nutrients to our important water environments is vital for nature recovery, so I’m really pleased that the Chartered Institute has recognised our pioneering work with these awards.”
Debbie Tann, Chief Executive of Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust said "I'm delighted that our innovative partnership work to address nitrates in the Solent has been recognised. At the Wildlife Trusts we are clear that nature-based solutions are an important tool to help put nature into recovery. Through regenerating and rewilding natural habitats as we are doing at Little Duxmore Farm, we can not only remove pollution but create incredible biodiversity rich habits for wildlife to thrive."