Universities go wild to win prize at Whatley quarry
HANSON'S Whatley quarry, near Frome, is one of several plants across England and Wales opening its doors to university academics and students for its biennial biodiversity research competition.
The second Quarry Life Award was launched recently, by Hanson's parent company Heidelberg Cement Group, and offers the chance to win up to £35,000 by finding new ideas for the conservation and promotion of species diversity in quarries.
Universities are being invited to submit potential projects based around five topics from biodiversity and education to raising public awareness.
They have until March next year to submit their proposals.
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A panel of in-house and independent experts will then select the best projects to progress to the research phase, which is scheduled to be carried out next summer.
Three UK winners will then be chosen to share a prize fund of £8,000 and go forward to the international competition with the chance to scoop the top prize of £27,000.
Martin Crow, Hanson's senior sustainability manager, said: "Our aim is to encourage projects which can support and enhance the work we are doing to improve biodiversity and the quality of restoration at our quarries.
"The first round of the awards attracted a lot of interest and some valuable research work was carried out.
"We are expecting a similar level of interest this time."