RSK Habitat Management has been successfully appointed by East West Rail Alliance to deliver soft landscaping as part of works for the East West Rail Phase 2 project.

Over the next two years, new trees and shrubs will be planted to provide an ecological habitat which is part of the scheme wide landscape design and environmental mitigation for the Project. The landscape planting has been designed to assist in the delivery of the Alliance’s objective to ‘Protect the natural environment and contribute to the conservation of nature in the region by achieving a biodiversity net gain of 10%’.

This planting will provide a green corridor of new vegetation throughout the scheme linking 21 Ecological Compensation Sites. The benefits of this habitat creation include:

  • Screening certain views of the railway from sensitive receptors;
  • Softening the structure of the railway and contribute to assimilation of the scheme into the landscape;
  • Provide foraging and commuting routes for wildlife, and
  • Provide visual context to structures and features such as Public Rights of Way.

The work, due to begin September 2021, will involve:

  • Installing 29 km of stock fencing
  • 2 million square metres of hydroseeding
  • Planting of 240,000 whips, shrubs and trees.
  • 12 month post installation maintenance.

Dan Thomas, Managing Director of RSK Habitat Management said:

“We are delighted to win this prestigious contract which is a testament to all the hard work, not only on this bid but on building our reputation in the market, and we look forward to working with the East West Rail Alliance toward achieving their ambition to generate 10% biodiversity net gain on the Project.”

About the East West Rail Phase 2 project
East West Rail will create a new direct connection between Oxford and Cambridge. Serving communities across the area, it will bring faster journey times and lower transport costs as well as easing pressure on local roads.
East West Rail is being delivered in three Connection Stages:

  • Connection Stage One: Oxford to Bletchley and Milton Keynes
  • Connection Stage Two: Oxford to Bedford
  • Connection Stage Three: Oxford to Cambridge

Network Rail was responsible for developing the first part of the East West Rail, connecting Oxford with Bicester, and is a partner in a construction alliance to deliver Connection Stage 1 of the project, where East West Railway Company (EWR Co) and Network Rail are acting as the Department for Transport’s joint sponsors.

EWR Co is now developing the route to enable services to run to Cambridge via Bedford and will be seeking statutory powers under the Planning Act 2008, following a period of extensive consultation.

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