We catch up with Phil Jackson, who deals with everything from managing biodiversity plans to developing relationships with external stakeholders across 100 sites.
This is the time I get to work. No two days are the same for me and can change at the drop of a hat. After working for Aggregate Industries for 23 years, my role has developed massively and I've learnt to manage my diary day by day. I can be in Bardon Hall, where I am based, or working in Scotland promoting and managing biodiversity within the business and attending external seminars to extend my knowledge.
Alternatively, I may be reviewing restoration plans and implementing within the operational sites. There is only one other person in the company that does my role, so I look after a large patch. Imagine drawing a line across from Leighton Buzzard to Little Paxton that stretches as far north as Edinburgh in the east, and Scotland across to Glensanda in the west – that is classed as my patch. I enjoy travelling to different quarries meeting different people.
I attend a quarry development meeting. I'm there to look at how biodiversity can be promoted within a working quarry, making sure the quarry developments plans consider protective species e.g. bats, badgers, great crested newts and bird nesting. When you have lots of sites to look after it's important to make sure you think of these things before work begins.
Attend site meeting with a landscaping contractor to discuss a restoration scheme and how it can be implemented on the ground e.g. tree planting, creating wildflower grassland and dry stone walling and woodland management.
Site meeting with an external stakeholder e.g. Natural England, Wildlife Trust Butterfly Conservation Trust or RSPB to discuss habitat management on AI landholding, including SSSI sites.
Meet up with local residents to discuss their concerns. It can be anything from dangerous trees overhanging their gardens to how wildlife is being protected on Aggregate Industries landholding.
Prepare a quarry for biodiversity benchmark audit undertaken by the Wildlife Trust ensuring everything is ready for the audit.
After tying up all the loose ends of the day, responding to emails I haven’t had chance to read and responding to voicemails, I head home. I'm a keen rock climber so I usually head to an indoor rock climbing wall or plan my next trip to Wales or Cornwall to climb the sea cliffs. It helps me relax from the pressures of the day. Also I enjoy catching up with my grandchildren and family.
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