App to help sector with protected species launched

A new app that aims to provide the construction sector with advice on how to manage a range of protected species commonly encountered onsite has been launched.

The Working with Wildlife app has been developed in partnership by the Construction Industry Research and Information Association (CIRIA) and the Ecology Consultancy.

The app provides information on species including bats, birds, dormice, great crested newts, otters, reptiles and water voles, how to recognise these species and what signs to look for onsite.

It also provides an introduction to key aspects of current legislation, a gallery of photographs to help identify species, signs of their presence and habitats and a glossary of terms used, as well as references and further reading.

The mobile app format is said to enable contractors and construction workers to easily access key information on the go and allows the content to be regularly updated. This aims to ensure the information and guidance around protected species contained in the app is kept up to date and in line with current legislation.

Commenting on the launch of the app, Leanne Clowting, executive director, CIRIA said, “This new resource further enhances CIRIA’s commitment to champion biodiversity in the built environment. Alongside the BIG Biodiversity Challenge and Awards, we hope that this app will enable construction professionals to ensure that industry can be even more widely proactive in ensuring the future of our endangered species.”

John Newton, founder and strategic advisor, Ecology Consultancy added, “The adaptation of the Working with Wildlife guidance into app form enables construction companies to easily share our guidance and puts it directly into the hands of their on-site employees. This will be invaluable in helping developers meet legislation requirements and encourage an understanding of the issues around wildlife conservation that their projects may come up against.”

The free Working with Wildlife app is available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.