Call of the wild

Norfolk-based NBC Environment has been awarded an MOD contract for the management of wildlife on six RAF bases.

Located in Lincolnshire and Cambridge, the six bases include RAF Scampton, home to the world-famous Red Arrows, the Royal Air Force College at RAF Cranwell, and RAF Coningsby, which is the main operating base for two of the UK’s Typhoon fighter squadrons. With each site being of strategic importance to air defences in the UK, full-time, round-the-clock support is required at the bases.

NBC will take on the wildlife management services, ensuring runways and areas in the vicinity are kept clear of birds and wildlife such as deer, rabbits and hares, for the next three years, with an option to extend the contract by a further two.

Ian Cain, technical director at NBC Environment, explains: “Wildlife management is a hugely important consideration for any airfield or airport. A bird strike on an aeroplane or helicopter can be catastrophic both in terms of risks to human life, but also in the damage to the aircraft itself. The threat is compounded in a defence context because runways must often be accessible 24/7 and at short notice.”

In order to deliver NBC’s first full-time aviation contract, the company has invested in new four-wheel drives equipped with sound and visual deterrents and recruited 20 new full time staff. Staff will be equipped with a variety of electronic reporting and management tools, offering the client a real-time and transparent overview of activities.

Ian Cain continues: “NBC Environment has been able to bring something entirely new to the aviation sector by combining consultancy with in-house wildlife management, something that’s generally considered an add-on service by competitors in this space.

“Our level of specialism allows us look at sites holistically to identify potential hazards across the safeguard zone as dictated by each of the habitats within it. As such, we are then able to offer practical suggestions on proactive management strategies.”

John Dickson, managing director and founder of NBC Environment, concludes: “NBC is currently undergoing a period of unprecedented growth. We completed a strategic merger with Blackdown Environmental in February to extend our portfolio of ecology services and we’re also expanding our provision across the UK.

“This contract win demonstrates our ambitions to extend into additional vertical markets. Even when we are in the position of being a challenger brand, we are confident that we have the in-house expertise and a level of innovation that none of our competitors can match at this point.”


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