QEII Bridge welcomes thriving kestrel chicks
The M25 team were delighted to see the QEII bridge become home to flourishing kestrel chicks after a mother kestrel was spotted creating a nest on the walkway.
It wasn’t long until six kestrel chicks were spotted in the nest after camera traps were carefully placed on the walkway and set to record. After four weeks the chicks had grown into fledglings and were ready to leave the nest and start exploring the surrounding habitats.
The RSPB states that there are approximately 46,000 breeding pairs of kestrel present in the UK. This number has continued to decline significantly in the last few decades due to a loss in habitat and food, putting kestrels on the Amber List of Birds of Conservation Concern.
Kestrels will continue to utilise artificial structures such as the QEII bridge to nest and shelter, hence, it is in our best interest to ensure they remain undisturbed by our activities.
To do so, the walkway on which is nest is located has been closed off so that no works will be taking place there until the nest has been vacated.
Oliver Bevilacqua, Assistant Ecologist at CPS, said: ‘Getting the chance to see the kestrel chicks through the camera trap was an enchanting experience as it highlighted the ability of these amazing birds to utilise artificial structures to successfully breed, shelter, and raise chicks into independent fledglings. I was able to see the chicks grow up and develop their flying and hunting skills through the camera trap we set up next to the nest. I’m happy to see that they are now able and healthy enough to take care of themselves.’
Notes to Editors
About Connect Plus and Connect Plus Services
- Over 10 years ago, Highways England awarded Connect Plus the contract to operate and manage the M25 and its key arterial link roads.
- Connect Plus is a consortium that includes Edge Orbital Holdings Ltd, Balfour Beatty and Egis Road Operation UK - a unique partnership with a collective strength in highways maintenance and management.
- Connect Plus Services (CPS), is Connect Plus’ specialist and strategic supply chain partner responsible for operations and maintenance, bringing together the collective strength and expertise of its parent companies, Balfour Beatty, Atkins and Egis Road Operation UK.
- With a workforce of around 600 people, based at seven locations around the network, CPS carries out routine maintenance, and whole-life management of thousands of M25 assets. CPS manages the operation of the network 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including a severe weather season maintenance programme.
- Over the past 10 years, collectively we’ve delivered over £1.4bn worth of road improvements and junction enhancements, and we’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to deliver safer, more reliable journeys for our customers. Together, we’re passionate about delivering the long-term needs of the M25 and improving the driving experience for all our customers.
- For further information please visit https://www.connectplusm25.co.uk/ or follow us at https://twitter.com/cpservices_m25