British Antarctic Survey – Bird Island

Feb 3, 2016

The Problem

Conservation scientists on the Bird Island wildlife reserve off South Georgia in the South Atlantic were impacting the environment by walking on the fragile soils.

Understanding the Requirements

The island is home to large colonies of threatened species and studying them is critical to their conservation.

But the scientists working on the island also have an environmental impact by walking on and damaging the fragile soils on the island.

Because of the risk of importing non-native insects, wood cannot be taken on to the island.

The Solution

Dr Kevin Hughes of the British Antarctic Survey approached Filcris in 2008 to explore the use of recycled plastics rather than wood.

Ecogrid and recycled plastic planks were shipped to the island for evaluation.

The recycled plastic planks were a great success and were then used to build walkways to allow the research to continue with minimal environmental impact.

The Results

“With the recycled plastic planking we made some simple bridges to cross the numerous streams and some areas of boggy ground on the island.”