Heidelberg Materials launches sixth Quarry Life Award

  • Heidelberg Materials has launched the sixth round of its biodiversity and research competition.
  • The Quarry Life Award has a total prize fund of €300,000 (around £250,000) and is now open for project submissions from researchers, students, local communities, NGO’s and nature enthusiasts.
  • The international competition is run every three years by Heidelberg Materials to inspire biodiversity and restoration projects at extraction sites globally.

Heidelberg Materials has launched the sixth round of the Quarry Life Award, its biodiversity research competition. Participants from more than 15 countries worldwide can pitch their project ideas for sustainable quarry management and compete for prizes totalling €300,000 (approx. £250,000).

The Quarry Life Award was first established in 2011 to support and increase biodiversity at quarry sites, strengthen communication channels with neighbours and educate and raise awareness about the importance of nature and habitats. The award has since received more than 1,500 submissions and has generated over 450 innovative project ideas to promote and protect biodiversity.

At a national level, projects can be carried out by individuals or teams in either the ‘research’ or ‘community’ streams, both of which offer a £4,000 top prize.

The research stream focuses on scientific projects that increase knowledge of quarry-specific ecology and/or lead to improved biodiversity, landscape, or water management. It is aimed primarily at academics, scientists and research groups, with categories covering biodiversity management, habitat and species research and improving the connection of quarries with its neighbouring environment.

The community stream is for projects that help the quarry and operating units to better connect with the community and raise awareness among the wider public of the biodiversity at extraction sites. This stream is open to everyone – individuals, students, schools and community groups.

National winners are then put forward into the international stage of the competition, with prizes awarded in the following categories: biodiversity management, habitat and species, beyond quarry borders, biodiversity and education, connecting quarries and communities, and nature-based solutions. The best projects in each of the six categories will be rewarded with a prize of €10,000 (approx. £8,400) each. The best project overall will receive no less than €30,000 (approx. £25,300) in total.

Project proposals, based at one of Heidelberg Materials’ quarries in the UK, are invited to be submitted on the Quarry Life Award website by 18 November 2024. A panel of experts will then select six of the proposals to become projects to be carried out between January and September 2025.

Marian Garfield, Sustainability Director at Heidelberg Materials UK, said: “The protection and enhancement of biodiversity is at the core of our sustainability strategy, so our aim is to encourage projects that can support the work we are already doing to improve biodiversity and the quality of restoration at our sites.

“The Quarry Life Award aligns with our 2030 commitment to build a nature positive future and, by increasing dialogue with academics, NGOs and our local communities, is helping to inform the development of biodiversity action plans at all our sites.”