Covid-19 Update

As the Coronavirus pandemic continues to evolve, the Raymond Brown Group’s priority is to ensure we keep our employees, customers and community safe as we make plans to remain as resilient as possible.

In response to official guidance from the UK Government, we have modified and adapted our working practices. Our office staff are now working from home and we have communication and technology systems in place to ensure we can continue working as normal.

The government has acknowledged the importance of the waste and recycling industry by classifying  waste operatives as key workers and our IBA processing facilities remain open under much heightened preventative measures to ensure our customers’ operations can continue. Going forwards we aim to be as flexible as possible towards our activities and are putting preparations in place should we need them.

Our quarries remain open to support our customers while they are still working but we are keeping this under constant review. The quarries are operating with new procedures and are following the guidance of the Government’s Construction Leadership Council.

The business is adapting to the fast changing environment as we continue to closely monitor and respond to the UK Government’s advice on the coronavirus.

We can be contacted on our usual office numbers, mobiles and email, which can be found on our website.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

On a personal note to you and your families, please take care and stay safe.

James Cunningham
Chairman

Raymond Brown Quarry Products Ltd have joined the Bumblebee Conservation Trust

Raymond Brown Quarry Products is dedicated to the protection of the natural environment and improvement of biodiversity through quarrying operations.  Through this partnership, the business will be working with the Bumblebee Conservation Trust to introduce nectar-rich plants to its quarries and restoration sites.

“Having become aware of the collapsing bumblebee populations following a talk by one of our colleagues, our Environmental Committee became concerned and wanted to learn more” commented Nick Hardacre, Technical and Environmental Manager.  “When it then became clear that both Brickworth Quarry and Binnegar Quarry overlapped with a range of some endangered species of bees, we simply had to act.  We joined the Bumblebee Conservation Trust to benefit from their expertise and learn about constructing habitats and integrating pollinator friendly flowers where possible.  We hope to do all we can to create a haven for bees across our sites and aid in the bees recovery across the country.”

The Bumblebee Conservation Trust is a national conservation charity, established in 2006 by two academics whose research had uncovered serious concerns about bumblebee sustainability and survival.  In the last 80 years, bumblebee populations have been decimated and two native species have become extinct, with a further eight of our 24 species are endangered.  The Trust has a vision to create a world where bumblebees are thriving and valued.

The Trust bases its policies and practical conservation work through constant evaluation of scientific research and best practice, their current activities have included creating and restoring wildflower habitats in the areas where rare bumblebees need it most, landscape-scale conservation projects around the UK and giving land managers, farmers and local communities practical advice on enhancing biodiversity for the benefit of bumblebees and other wild pollinators.

“Minerals sites offer excellent opportunities to provide habitat and forage for many of the twenty four species of bumblebee in the UK”  says Tessa Brooks of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust.  “Bumblebees are hard-working and versatile pollinators of many food crops and wildflower species but have been declining due to the widespread loss of wildflower grasslands and changes in agricultural practices.  In the last 80 years our bumblebee populations have crashed; two species have become nationally extinct and several others have declined dramatically.  So we are thrilled with the enthusiasm and commitment of Raymond Brown Quarry Products Ltd to their restoration and land management activities to increase biodiversity and wildlife, and through their Membership, providing funds to support the Trust’s conservation and educational activities.”

Behind the unique Hibernacula at Brickworth Quarry

Within the last six months, all amphibians and reptiles at Brickworth Quarry have been translocated to a dedicated space, “Area A Reptile Mitigation Area”, which includes a pond, hibernaculas and hedgerow. The area has been constructed and is being managed by Jason Martin, Quarry Manager, Karl Reed, Assistant Quarry Manager, and Mark Renault, Environmental Permitting Manager.

The hibernaculas were created by removing an area of top soil and digging a hole about 50cm deep and 1.5m across. The area was filled with bricks, logs and branches, leaving gaps in between, and the soil placed back on top.

The hibernaculas provide a safe refuge for amphibians and reptiles to be relocated to, a warm hibernation spot through the cold winter months and lots of places for solitary bees and other insects to hide. Next year, the area will be further developed to include basking and breeding areas for reptiles.

Over the last six months, the hibernaculas have thrived, welcoming a wider range of different species as they have evolved over time.

The business is committed to delivering biodiversity net gain, which seeks to leave wildlife in a better state then before and the hibernaculas have been so successful at Brickworth Quarry that the team are now looking to construct them at both Binnegar Quarry and Roke Manor Quarry under the expert supervision of Karl Reed.

The site team are also investigating other types of hibernacula, including one which utilises both tree stumps and logs on site to encourage a broader range of species.

Congratulations to five employees who have gone above and beyond to demonstrate our Core Values this year

Passion, Responsibility and Engagement are the fundamental beliefs of our organisation and should form the foundations of how we perform and conduct ourselves at all times.

Once again, we have this year recognised key individuals from different parts of the business who have gone above and beyond in their different job roles to demonstrate our core values.

Luke Quinn, Site Manager, Julie Clarke, Receptionist, Marcus Bishop, 360 Driver, Nick Hardacre, Technical and Environmental Manager, and Dan Kellaway, Assistant Quarry Manager, have each been presented with an individual award and John Lewis voucher by the directors for their outstanding work and contribution to the business over the last year.

This year, there were two very strong contenders for our Passion Core Value Award, so the directors made the decision to recognise two winners.

Passion – Julie Clarke, Receptionist

Julie Clarke has worked for the business for over four years, she ensures the reception is manned professionally, that the office (and staff!) are kept in order and also provides support to various different departments.

Julie has been described as a ray of sunshine, she is always cheerful and has constantly got a smile on her face.  She is always the first person to offer help, nothing is too much trouble and her bubbly personality ensures good communication with both staff and customers.

Passion – Marcus Bishop, 360 Driver

Marcus Bishop started at the Ardley IBA Processing Facility as an FEL Operator three years ago and has progressed to 360 Driver.  He is also Ardley’s Health and Safety Representative and first aider.

Marcus has been described as someone who is focussed on continual improvement, actively coming up with solutions to issues on site and willing to go that extra mile to achieve them.

Responsibility – Dan Kellaway, Assistant Quarry Manager (Binnegar Quarry)

Dan has been with the business for almost three years and was promoted to the position of Assistant Quarry Manager this year.

Dan has been praised for dealing with any situation in a responsible and professional manner and is described as an excellent communicator.  He is passionate about the environment and our responsibilities as a quarry operator.  Dan also sits on the Raymond Brown Environmental Committee.

Engagement – Nick Hardacre, Technical & Environmental Manager

Congratulations to Nick Hardacre, Technical and Environmental Manager, on winning the Engagement Award.  Nick has worked for the business for over two years and had previously undertaken a summer placement with the business.

Nick’s enthusiasm has been recognised across the business and he is described as being both engaging and passionate.  He is enthusiastic, works hard and actively looks into new initiatives to come up with valuable suggestions, with particular focus on the environment and biodiversity.

Overall Winner – Luke Quinn, Site Manager (Rookery Farm)

Congratulations to Luke Quinn, Site Manager at Rookery Farm, on winning the Raymond Brown Core Values Overall Award for 2019, having demonstrated real passion, responsibility and engagement in his role over the last year.

Luke joined the business seven years ago as Plant Operator and has progressed during his time at Rookery Farm, having this year been promoted to Site Manager, where he has seamlessly taken over the running of the site.

Luke has continually demonstrated all three core values in his role and is described as enthusiastic in everything he does.  He is an exemplary Site Manager, with a wealth of knowledge he shares with those around him.  He uses his own personal and professional achievements to encourage and advise others.

Raymond Brown Community Matters Initiative wins Institute of Quarrying South of England Best Community Engagement Project

Engagement, influence and impact reflects how we interact with our colleagues across the industry and with the communities we live and operate in.  The Institute of Quarrying Awards showcase great examples of teams working together to demonstrate the value of the quarrying industry to a wider audience.

The Best Community Engagement Project Award is designed to recognise projects where sites are actively engaging their local communities and achieving positive results.

In judging this award, the Institute of Quarrying were looking to understand the relationship Raymond Brown has with the local community, who our local community is, what their key concerns are and how the initiative addresses these issues.

Our Raymond Brown Community Matters Initiative encompasses our commitment to maintaining good relationships with the communities in which we work.  We open our doors to local neighbours to give them the opportunity to view our wide range of operations and facilities, whilst providing learning opportunities such as the lorry design competition.

The judges commented “This was an excellent project that could be used as a template for how the industry can reach into its communities, providing education about what we do and why it is important.  It showcases a great example of engaging schoolchildren through its lorry design competition, but the initiative reaches out into the wider community with great effectiveness.

All award winners from each of the regional events will automatically be submitted for the National Awards which will take place during Hillhead 2020.

Brickworth Quarry presented with Raymond Brown Environmental Award

The Raymond Brown Environmental Award has been presented to the team at Brickworth Quarry for their work on hibernacula and pond creation, as well as the work restoring Lowden’s Copse with ancient woodland soils.

With the support of Mark Renault, Environmental and Permitting Manager, the team at Brickworth Quarry have demonstrated best practice in terms of habitat creation, restoration, sustainable development and collaborative working.

The habitat creation which includes the unique hibernacula and habitat ponds has not only allowed biodiversity to be maintained across the site, but has encouraged it to flourish and will continue to do so throughout the active extraction process.

A robust handling strategy from the team has ensured the careful management and conservation of ancient woodland soils and the planting of native trees. What was once commercial lumber plantation has now been restored and transformed from a near monoculture of pine to a young mixed broad leaf woodland that will grow and support wildlife of all types and sizes and be a key area for biodiversity in the wider landscape.

The planting of these indigenous species of trees with open glades will benefit species like reptiles, amphibians, bats, dormice and birds to deliver a net gain in broadleaved woodland habitat.

On presenting the team with the award, Estates and Planning Director, Rob Westell commented: “Brickworth Quarry would simply not operate without intricate forward planning of tree felling/soil stripping/tree planting to safeguard rare and protected species.

The team at Brickworth, with support from Mark, has gone above and beyond to ensure our commitments to safeguard protected species have been fulfilled while also ensuring the quarry maintains available reserves and voidspace. One particular example of where the team has succeeded is the creation of reptile hibernaculas, more usually carried out by ecological contractors, but here undertaken by the quarry team.

This award is very well deserved and recognises the commitment to biodiversity we strive to achieve.”

Raymond Brown handed RoSPA President’s (10 Consecutive Golds) Award for Health and Safety Practices

Raymond Brown has been handed a prestigious award in recognition of its practices and achievements in helping our staff and subcontractors get home safely at the end of the working day.

Raymond Brown has achieved a President’s (10 consecutive Golds) in the internationally-renowned RoSPA Health and Safety Awards, the longest-running industry awards scheme in the UK.

The RoSPA Awards scheme, which receives entries from organisations around the world, recognises achievement in health and safety management systems, including practices such as leadership and workforce involvement.

Julia Small, RoSPA’s head of qualifications, awards and events, said: “The RoSPA Awards have become the key fixture in the health and safety calendar with new sponsors and new awards this year including the Leisure Safety Awards, the Safe@Work Safe@Home Award and the Inspiration Awards. Highly-respected, with almost 2,000 entrants every year, RoSPA award winners benefit from the wide-ranging rewards of improved sector reputation.”

The majority of awards are non-competitive and mark achievement at merit, bronze, silver and gold levels. Gold medals, president’s awards, orders of distinction and the Patron’s Award are presented to organisations sustaining the high standards of the gold level over consecutive years.

3,880 Mixed Broadleaf Trees and Shrubs planted at Brickworth Quarry

The Brickworth Quarry team are in the process of planting around 5,000 mixed broadleaf trees and shrubs as part of the restoration of Round Corpse North.

The 3,880 planted so far consist of Oak, Hornbeam, Sweet Chestnut, Copper Beach, Field Maple, Common Alder, Hazel, Hawthorn and Guelder Rose.

This forms part of the final stages of the restoration of Round Copse North back to broadleaf woodland.

Operations progress at Brickworth Quarry

We are pleased to announce that quarrying operations have progressed into Phase 2 of Area A with the extraction of soft sand at approximately 150,000 tonnes per annum.

Phase 3 of Area A is currently being felled in preparation for quarrying.

The Round Copse North Area has been restored and soils have been placed, tree planting will commence in this area shortly and Lowdens Copse has been backfilled using inert materials and soils are due to be placed for restoration in Spring 2019.

The current landfill operation is progressing well in Phase 1 of Area A and is planned to receive direct placement of the soils excavated from Phase 3 of Area A.

Raymond Brown are delighted to welcome Don Coates to the business as Chief Executive Officer

Raymond Brown are delighted to announce Don Coates as the group’s new Chief Executive Officer.

The appointment is a key part of Raymond Brown’s future growth strategy, which will see Don steering the business through its growth and expansion plans.

Don commented: “Raymond Brown is a well-respected business and I am excited to be joining at a key time in the Group’s development when there are many great prospects.  I will ensure that we remain committed to our employees, customers, local communities, health and safety and improving the environment, which underpins our core values.  I look forward to supporting the senior team in leading the group through this next phase.”

Don has 30 years’ experience in manufacturing, working across a variety of sectors, and has led several businesses as CEO in both private and public company environments, including 17 years with DS Smith Plc, where his responsibilities included running the UK’s largest waste paper recycler.

Don will be working closely with Chief Operating Officer, Steve Clasby, Chief Financial Officer, Wayne Roberts, and the management team.

Steve Clasby commented: “On behalf of the Raymond Brown team, I would like to welcome Don, who we are thrilled to have on board.  I very much look forward to working with Don to make the most of the opportunities ahead as we continue our success into the future.”