Bath Spa’s Quarry Life Award submission

Enabling colonisation and enriching biodiversity


Bath Spa’s Quarry Life Award submission ranked as one of top six in the UK

Wednesday, 28 February, 2018

A team of academic staff and students from Bath Spa University’s BSc (Hons) Biology and BSc (Hons) Environmental Science courses are celebrating the success of their 2018 Quarry Life Award submission which has been recognised as one of the top six entries in the UK.

The Award, sponsored by global building materials company Hanson HeidelbergCement Group, invites researchers and students from across the globe to submit proposals for projects that will help to promote biodiversity in its 101 quarries around the world.

The proposal titled ‘Wetland creation in limestone quarries: Enabling colonisation and enriching biodiversity’ was submitted by Bath Spa’s David Watson, Head of Field of Culture and Environment, Stephanie Greshon, Senior Lecturer in Conservation Biology, and Ian Thornhill, Lecturer in Environmental Management and Nature Conservation.

Whittled down from hundreds, the project is one of just 110 to have been selected and taken forward in this year’s global competition. In recognition of the University’s plans outlined in its submission, it has been awarded funding to begin its research and enable a number of students to undertake placements into wetland habitat creation around the limestone quarries in Chipping Sodbury in South Gloucestershire.

As part of this ongoing research project, Bath Spa staff and students will work collaboratively on biodiversity restoration and enhancement in the quarry’s settings.

David Watson, Head of Field of Culture and Environment at Bath Spa University, said: “Six staff and six students began undertaking extensive research into wetland habitat creation in January and will continue this exciting work until September 2018.

“Students have already gained a tremendous amount of experience from this and similar projects, boosting both their research and employability skills. We’re very much looking forward to seeing where this study takes us.”

You can follow the University’s research via the ‘Wetland creation in limestone quarries: Enabling colonisation and enriching biodiversity’ project page on the Quarry Life Award website.

At the end of the research period, contestants will submit a final project report that will be evaluated by a panel of judges. National and international Quarry Life Award winners will then be revealed in autumn 2018 and tiered cash prizes will be granted with the best overall project receiving up to €30,000.

In 2016, Bath Spa graduates Rozy Gray and Tom Bell took part in the University’s Quarry Life Award research project which used drones to monitor biodiversity restoration at Batts Combe Quarry on the edge of Cheddar in Somerset. You can find out more about this by watching Rozy’s case study or Tom’s case study on YouTube.

In 2014 Bath Spa University won an international Quarry Life Award for biodiversity enhancement research on woodlands at Whatley Quarry on the Mendip Hills in Somerset.

Bath Spa University’s BSc Biology and BSc Environmental Science courses cover all the core aspects of biology and environmental science while allowing students to develop expertise in specialist areas.

Students have the opportunity to study plants and animal conservation in habitats on Newton Park campus as well as further afield, supported by the environmental analysis undertaken in the University’s laboratories. As well as conservation expertise, BSc Biology also offers specialisms in Human Biology. Environmental Science also offers a wider range of sustainability options.

Visit the course page for more information.


David Watson

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