2018-2020 Laing O’Rourke, Murphy Joint Venture (LM JV)

FiveRivers were brought in to create, monitor and maintain three critical ecological mitigation sites as part of the wider enabling works of Phase 1 of HS2.


4 ponds created


1 otter holt created


New grassland created


New woodland created

Project requirements


These three sites required the creation of compensatory habitat for otters, kingfishers, invertebrates, and bats in the form of new woodland, grassland, and wetlands. This project included considerable ruderal vegetation clearance and management, the construction of four lined ponds/scrapes, grassland reversion for wet and neutral grassland, stock fencing, installation of bat boxes, otter holt and king fisher nests, tree planting, translocation of notable wetland plant species into the newly created habitat and implementation of ongoing monitoring and management of vegetation and INNS for each of the sites.

During the management phase, biannual surveys of the translocated notable plants were undertaken to identify establishment. Monthly monitoring of the otter holt was conducted using camera traps to detect usage along with field sign surveys. The objectives of the site management plan (ESMP) were assessed against site conditions for instance the percentages species establishment of the grassland or survival rate of planted trees. An invasive species survey was conducted prior to works to identify the extent and need for precautionary working measures.

Our approach

Key remarks

We worked collaboratively with the client team to ensure we got the best possible environment outcome at each site.  The team developed techniques to re-use materials on site, and limit the amount of vehicle movements in and out.  This not only limited disruption but also reduced the project carbon footprint.

In addition to our original scope we worked with the client to translocate several notable wetland plant species from a nearby affected site.

Project outcomes


The mitigation sites, although looking very bare when first finished very quickly established to provide outstanding habitat.  It was vital that these sites we’re established by the required date to allow for subsequent species translocations.

All three sites provide fantastic habitat on previously degraded areas of land, forming part of the wider HS2 green corridor.

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FiveRivers were amongst the first contractors to deliver the early enabling ecology mitigations sites for LM/HS2. The success of these sites lead to FiveRivers securing further contracts to translocate Ancient Woodland Soil. They went above and beyond to keep these projects on track and set the high standard for the project. They did this throughout the COVID pandemic, significant public scrutiny and with the backdrop of protestor action on site. The works were technically complex and needed to be undertaken in strict compliance with the requirements of the Natural England Protected Species licences. These were unprecedented times with immense obstacles to overcome and FiveRivers not only delivered, but excelled with their hardworking, can do, collaborative work ethic. I hope to work with them again in the future.
Simon Russell, Project Director LMJV

One year later

It was fantastic to be able to monitor and maintain these sites for over 18 months to watch how they established and developed over time.  As you can see from the photos the sites look fantastic, and are already incredibly bio-diverse.

Martin Whitfield - Managing Director at FiveRivers (5R)

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Martin Whitfield

Managing Director

Get in touch by either phone or email to speak with Martin and discuss your needs.