News & Events

Black & Veatch wins coveted Landscape Institute award for UK flood alleviation project

Redhill, Surrey, United Kingdom
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Innovative integration of landscape design, natural capital accounting and digital story-telling maximises the environmental and social value of Burton Washlands scheme

With climate change placing increasing numbers of communities at risk of flooding, it is vital flood alleviation projects engage fully with the people they protect and create a legacy that provides multiple benefits for the community. In achieving a UK Landscape Institute Award for its work in Burton-upon-Trent, Staffordshire, Black & Veatch has set out a strong framework for future projects to deliver robust infrastructure investment cases that deliver wider environmental and social value.

Working in a collaborative team convened by our client the Environment Agency, and partners including East Staffordshire Borough Council, Staffordshire Wildlife Trust and The National Forest; the project provides the key to unlock the environmental and community value of a 630-hectare area of undeveloped floodplain and green infrastructure resource.

“Our shared vision was distilled from wide ranging aspirations, strategies and policies. We developed a strong consensus amongst partners and the local community; adding value through creative yet contextually responsive landscape design concepts, robust natural capital accounting, and innovative information sharing via digital StoryMaps,” according to Matt Clegg, director of Black & Veatch’s environmental consulting business.

Black & Veatch’s Ecosystem Services Valuation enabled data-driven judgements where the relative benefits and value of proposals could be compared and understood by the layperson, using a unique 3D digital visualisation tool. The results exceeded client and project partner expectations and facilitated future funding of more than £2 million for the next phase of development and implementation.

Winning the Landscape Institute Award acknowledges the approach’s success. “It is clear to see how the public has been engaged, and how their responses have been integrated into the solutions,” commented the judging panel which named Burton Washlands winner in the institution’s Local Landscape Planning category.

In response to the challenge of climate change, Government is investing £2.5 billion in projects to reduce flood risk. “There is, however, a growing need to match this funding through partnership contributions from local communities and business. Thus the need to build consensus about the projects’ scope, execution and wider legacy is increasing. Our award-winning strategy at Burton typifies the innovative approach that can underpin investment in all critical infrastructure projects. It demonstrates our ability to support clients to deliver a wider legacy of environmental and social net gain” added Clegg.

Editor’s Notes:

  • Click here to learn more about Black & Veatch’s environmental consulting work.
  • The Landscape Institute is the chartered body for the landscape profession. It is an educational charity that promotes the art and science of landscape practice.
  • The annual Landscape Institute Awards applaud those working on the most innovative projects to have shaped, restored and protected the natural and built environment.
  • Black & Veatch’s other world-class environmental consulting projects include:
    • Minsmere RSPB Reserve: A multi-award winning project protecting a nature reserve of international importance – provided Environmental Impact Assessments, Habitat Regulations Assessment screening, consultation
    • Felixstowe Coastal Defences: Protecting communities from flood, and the status of a Site of Special Scientific Interest – provided Environmental Impact Assessments, environmental statement
    • River Thames Scheme: £475 million flood alleviation programme to protect communities and critical infrastructure - provided Ecosystem Services Valuation

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    About Black & Veatch

    Black & Veatch is an employee-owned, global leader in building critical human infrastructure in Energy, Water, Telecommunications and Government Services. Since 1915, we have helped our clients improve the lives of people in over 100 countries through consulting, engineering, construction, operations and program management. Our revenues in 2018 were US$3.5 billion. Follow us on and in social media.