Newts. They might not sound like the most obvious thing for a construction firm to consider, but in actual fact, protecting these sub-aquatic salamanders is one of the extraordinary things a graduate or apprentice might have to deal with on a regular basis.
To understand why, there are two key facts you need to know about the great crested newt. First, they’re a protected species in the UK. And second, they regularly make their homes in areas and building sites where we work. As you might already know, Murphy sets out to never to harm our environment, so protecting the great crested newt is crucial to our values and the way we work on every project.
In this particular case, Murphy were working on Britain’s new high speed railway, the HS2, which will eventually provide a quick direct link between London, Birmingham, the East Midlands, Leeds and Manchester. In a joint venture with Laing O’Rourke, our enabling works would ready the way for the Northern section of the project.
The only thing is, to do that whilst protecting the local environment – including the area’s resident great crested newts – we’d have to create new wildlife habitats up and down the proposed route of the railway.
This kind of work takes careful thought: we had to carry out extensive ecological studies, as well as meticulously planning a staggered introduction for different kinds of wildlife. Whilst we worked with other businesses to deliver on time and on budget, we’d also have to work with environmental experts to make sure we got the ecosystem just right
Work began in Kenilworth, Warwickshire, where we would create six new ponds, plant more than 6,200 new trees and shrubs, and provide a habitat for all kinds of native species.
But that’s just the beginning. By the time the HS2 is speeding its way from Leeds to London, this unprecedented conservation project will have planted a whopping seven million new trees and shrubs, not to mention creating wetlands, ponds, heathland and meadows. Despite the size of the work though, we know we’ll meet it head on. After all, we always deliver – even for the great crested newts.