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ESH-Stantec shortlisted for BIG Biodiversity Challenge Award 2019

Killingworth and Longbenton floating island eco-systems nominated for Innovation Award


Killingworth and Longbenton surface water separation scheme, a joint project carried out between Northumbrian Water, North Tyneside Council and the Environment Agency, has been shortlisted for the BIG Biodiversity Challenge Innovation Award 2019.

Led by CIRIA’s Biodiversity Interest Group (BIG), the challenge raises awareness of how biodiversity needs to become a key component within the construction and development industry, as an integrated part of planning and delivering projects.

Three floating island eco-systems designed and made by Biomatrix Water have been installed in Killingworth Lake, North Tyneside to improve biodiversity and water quality and provide natural habitat as part of a £6 million flood reduction and surface water improvement scheme designed and constructed by Esh-Stantec.

The overall scheme provides flood protection to over 3500 homes, improves water quality, and provides amenity and biodiversity through the establishment of surface water attenuation areas. Instead of flowing back to the sewerage system, overflows from the lake will spill into natural grassed areas alongside and drain back to a local watercourse instead.

To provide an additional 7000 m3 of surface water storage, the level of the lake has been lowered by 100 mm. The island eco-systems mitigate this lower level by helping to clear and clean the lake, with their plant roots absorbing nutrients and cleansing the water. Anchored in the centre of the lake, the islands also provide 300 square meters of new natural habitat and protection for fish, wildlife, and nesting birds.

Before the islands were launched, pupils from Westmoor Primary School joined a planting event to establish the floating islands with plants and shrubs. Involving local school children aligns with the project team’s desire to engage with the community and inspire future generations to look after the environment.

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on 12 September at the Hallam Conference Centre, London, UK.

The full list of finalists and more information can be found at:

Esh-Stantec is a joint venture between Esh Construction and Stantec set up to deliver Northumbrian Water Group’s Water and Wastewater Infrastructure design and build framework.

Learn more about the Killingworth and Longbenton surface water separation scheme:

About Stantec
Communities are fundamental. Whether around the corner or across the globe, they provide a foundation, a sense of place and of belonging. That's why at Stantec, we always design with community in mind.

We care about the communities we serve—because they're our communities too. This allows us to assess what's needed and connect our expertise, to appreciate nuances and envision what's never been considered, to bring together diverse perspectives so we can collaborate toward a shared success.

We're designers, engineers, scientists, and project managers, innovating together at the intersection of community, creativity, and client relationships. Balancing these priorities results in projects that advance the quality of life in communities across the globe.

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Media Contact
Caroline Downie
Stantec Media Relations
Ph: +44 (1925) 845080

Drone Photography by Wally Gargett

Drone Photography by Wally Gargett

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