Highways England finds the link with community on school environment project

A primary school close to teh A1 where Highways England is increasing two lanes to three narrower lanes, has been involved in creating bug hotels and planting wildflower seeds to help local wildlife flourish.

Broadwood Primary School, located close to the A1 where Highways England is increasing two lanes along a five-mile stretch to three narrower lanes, were delighted to get involved.

Children from Broadwood Primary School collected and recycled items to produce an important shelter, attracting flies, bees, moths and butterflies which are integral to flower pollination and act as a food source for various bird species.

Diane Wilkinson-Best, Early Years teacher at the Denton Burn based school, said: “Starting our children off early learning about our environment and looking after the animals we share our planet with is really important.By getting our pupils creative through this joint initiative they feel a sense of joy at making things that will make a difference and have a lasting effect.”

One of the pupils Sophie, aged 4, said: “We made bug hotels by putting some twigs and leaves in bottles and we put them somewhere safe for the bugs so they can live there.”

The strategic road network is one of the country’s largest national assets – stretching for nearly 4,500 miles and connects people, businesses and communities with the places they need to be. It also has approximately 30,000 hectares of green verges which contains a range of habitats and supports a rich variety of plants and animals.

Teams working on major Highways England projects have dedicated officers who work closely with local communities.

Highways England project manager Tom Peckitt said: “We want our roads to work more harmoniously with the communities that live alongside them, and the built, natural and historic environments that surround them.

“Educating our next generation about biodiversity and getting young people involved in creating better environments for our wildlife will provide a legacy of healthier habitats and greater diversity alongside our roads.”

Highways England’s multi-million investment along the A1, between junction 74 at Spotswood and junction 79 at North Brunton, will provide extra room, improve journey times, support economic growth and improve safety.

Narrower lanes and a temporary safety barrier have been installed on northbound and southbound carriageways and work is under way within the central reservation, which is a pivotal part of the project. The team have started resurfacing and installing the new concrete barrier which will improve safety for the thousands of drivers who use the route every day.

The latest information on Highways England’s biodiversity work can be found in its 2018-19 biodiversity report and further details are available in its Strategic Business Plan.


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