Sensitive Car Park Projects
Oxford Direct Services (ODS) has completed sensitive alterations to parking at Aston Rowant, a popular Natural England-managed nature reserve.
The work involved the redesign and resurfacing of the existing car park, drainage improvements, and construction of a second, smaller car parking area
The Aston Rowant reserve is classified as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and as a "Site of Special Scientific Interest", because of its important habitat of chalk grassland which is home to flowers including rare orchids and the Chiltern gentian, as well as Silver-spotted skipper and Adonis blue butterflies.
Discussing the decision to award the contract to a specialist Highways team from ODS, Alistair Helliwell, National Nature Reserve Area Senior Adviser, said:
"Like any landowner undertaking infrastructure works in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and within a protected Site of Special Scientific Interest, we must be mindful of the restrictions on how we can use the land and minimise the risk to plants and wildlife.
"It was important to find a contractor that we could have a dialogue with about these issues and develop a working relationship of trust. We found this with ODS. During both the planning and the work itself, we were able to engage with the team, seek their engineering advice and agree the best way forward.”
ODS's Highways manager, Oliver Hearn, added:
"Our team’s experience working in heritage areas around Oxford, as well the expertise available within the wider ODS group on environmental and conservation issues placed us in an excellent position to carry out the Aston Rowant works, and other similar sensitive projects."
In April 2018, Oxford City Council divested itself of ODS, with over 700 staff transferred to the new organisation which operates as a social enterprise. The company delivers a wide-range of services to over 150,000 residents, businesses and organisations in the Oxford area including highways and engineering, waste and recycling, street cleaning, construction, property and grounds maintenance. The new structure allows ODS to offer its services to other commercial customers with all profits generated being reinvested back into the community, via the city council.
Visit www.oxforddirectservices.co.uk for further information.