Thornton Waste Recycling PlantSecuring a Green Future

Project: Thornton Waste Recycling Plant

Client: Bovis Lend Lease

Services: Flora Translocation, Common Lizard Translocation, Wetland Creation

Sector: Waste

Location: Lancashire, UK

Scheme Overview:

Contract Ecology was commissioned by Bovis Lend Lease to co-ordinate and undertake the Ecological Mitigation and Ecological Clerk of Works (ECoW) duties for their ground breaking waste recovery plant in Thornton Cleveleys, Lancashire.

The plant is the UK’s first fully enclosed waste treatment facility to be constructed on behalf of Lancashire County Council and Blackpool Council as part of a £2bn, 25-year agreement to process the household waste of 1.4m people in Lancashire. The plant is designed to treat over 300,000 tonnes per annum of household waste. Specialising in extracting the maximum amount of recyclables for reuse the facility then transforms the remaining organic portion of the waste into a high quality compost-like product called Organic Growth Medium (OGM).

Scope of Works and Solution:

Formerly a chemical manufacturing plant, the site had been decommissioned for some years awaiting remediation in such time the site had colonised with a diverse array of rare plants due to the soil pH levels and a healthy population of common lizard was enjoying the basking opportunities of the concrete and metal pipework that remained throughout the site.

Our input at the former brownfield site included:

  • Identifying and translocating over 300 plant specimens listed as rare or vulnerable in the red data book of vascular plants and stripping and retaining the high value seed bank soil for re-use in native landscaping schemes onsite.

  • Capture and containment of common lizards through the installation of reptile exclusion fencing and habitat manipulation throughout the 40 acre site and construction of new hibernacula for the species.

  • Installation of water vole exclusion fencing, water vole habitat manipulation and trapping out of water voles prior to over pumping and temporarily closing 200m of watercourse. A further 360m of new ditch network and water vole habitat with subsequent reed bed planting and wildflower turf scheme was created by Contract Ecology on neighbouring land which is now managed as a local wildlife site.


Over 300 rare native plants saved

Creation of 360m of water vole friendly ditch

Creation of 10 acre wildlife site

Successful discharge of planning conditions

Contract Ecology are proud to have played an instrumental role in the ecological design and mitigation for this site, we managed and delivered this large scheme on time and to budget with real lasting benefits to Lancashire’s biodiversity and green space for public enjoyment.

how can we help you?

We want to help our clients achieve success with their projects. We believe a successful project is one which strikes the right balance between profitable development and biodiversity gain.

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