Update on Covid-19

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

Viridor and Fortis IBA competition inspires creativity for sustainability

12 lucky Oxfordshire students have learnt about the importance of the message to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle through engaging workshops and an upcycling competition by industry partners, Fortis IBA and Viridor.

The companies joined forces to creatively bring the message of sustainable construction alive to Fritwell Primary School students. They were treated to a fun and interactive day, learning about the journey that non-recyclable waste makes from our homes to be transformed into electricity and how it can contribute to the material used to build roads.

Viridor’s Learning and Visitor Centre Manager, Jessica Baker-Pike, said: “We welcome the opportunity to partner with Fortis IBA, to demonstrate through educational school visits to Ardley ERF, the important message of “Right Stuff, Right Bin”.

“The workshops and competition were a really creative way to inspire young people to begin to think about their environment, and for us to show them how to maximise opportunities to recycle and then put non-recyclable waste to work, creating electricity, roads and many other end-of-waste products.”

The day ended the presentation of a £20 book voucher for the winner of an upcycling competition which had challenged the Fritwell Primary School eco buddies to create a sustainable construction model from anything that would otherwise be considered as rubbish over half term.

Fortis IBA Ltd Communications and Marketing Manager, Kerry Hayman, said: “It is encouraging to see students engaging and asking all the right questions around what happens to their non-recyclable waste.

“Fortis IBA take the ash generated from Ardley ERF and recycle it into FortiStone IBA Aggregate which is used in construction across the county.  For every one tonne of the aggregate used, it diverts 400 bags of black bin waste from landfill!  In addition to this, the use of IBA Aggregate within Oxfordshire’s construction industry preserves our natural resources.  The UK now faces a limited availability of primary aggregates and there is a growing requirement for construction to be more sustainable.

We designed this competition to complement the workshop that we gave about IBA Aggregate, and to inspire the students to think broadly about reprocessing, recycling, and waste as a resource.”

The winning design, which was a fantastic creation of the Ardley ERF by student, Sam, was selected by Cabinet Member for the Environment, Councillor Yvonne Constance.

Fritwell Primary School teacher, Zoe Rowe, said: “The children thoroughly enjoyed learning about how much can be recycled and reused. We’ve come away with lots of ideas to take back to the school and I will be recommending further visits.”


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.

Binnegar Quarry commended for MPA’s Quarries and Nature 2019 Cooper-Heyman Cup for Outstanding Restoration

Representatives from Raymond Brown Quarry Products attended the Mineral Products Association (MPA)’s ‘Quarries & Nature 2019’ Event and Restoration & Biodiversity Awards, presented by BBC Radio 4’s Farming Today presenter, Sybil Ruscoe, on Wednesday 23rd October at The Royal Society, London.

The Mineral Products industry is uniquely placed to deliver biodiversity net gain, with a track record of leaving wildlife in a better state than before development and the event attracted a capacity audience of over 70 leading environmental and conservation organisations and industry operators to celebrate the industry’s continuing contribution to nature conservation.  It also explored how the industry can do even more to deliver net gain and showcased some of the best examples of quarry restoration and wildlife conservation anywhere in Europe.

Best practice was shared through the MPA Restoration Awards, now in their 49th year, and the MPA Biodiversity Awards in association with Natural England, and were presented by Dr Tony Juniper CBE, Chair Natural England, Dr Carol Williams, Director of Conservation, Bat Conservation Trust, Simon Marsh MBE, Head of Nature Protection at RSPB and Dr Nick White Principal Advisor, Net Gain, Natural England.

Raymond Brown Quarry Products’ Binnegar Quarry in Wareham was commended for the Cooper-Heyman Cup for outstanding restoration this year, a film showcasing all the fantastic entrants can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D03xA4SQKvY

Rob Westell, Estates and Planning Director commented: ‘The work to restore part of Binnegar Quarry to a rich mosaic of heathland, interspersed with permanent and ephemeral ponds and scrapes has provided a home for many rare and protected species.  Back in 2016, we translocated a protected species of plant, pennyroyal (part of the mint family) from a working phase to this area and it is now thriving.  Work is ongoing to nurture the pennyroyal and various species of heather which will eventually be an extension to the adjacent Site of Special Scientific Interest.”

MPA’s Chief Executive, Nigel Jackson said: “By creating new habitats during quarry restoration, mineral products companies are uniquely placed to increase biodiversity and this year’s submissions and winners of our prestigious awards once again enrich and extend the legacy the industry has built over the decades.  The mineral products industry is a pioneer in the field of nature conservation and is unrivalled by any other UK industry. Our achievements are not fully recognised by Government who consistently fail to appreciate how this industry can help them convert their aspirations for the natural environment into leadership and action on the ground. I hope that this year’s Quarries & Nature event triggers wider recognition and a new conversation with Defra in particular. We are very much part of the solution to the UK’s biodiversity challenges and are ready to play an even bigger role working with key stakeholders to protect and enhance UK biodiversity.”

Collard Group acquires Raymond Brown’s Waste Division

Collard Group Ltd completed the acquisition of Raymond Brown Waste Solutions (RBWS) on 18th October combining two of the biggest names in waste management in the South of England.

The newly combined business now operates from nine recycling centres across five counties from Hampshire to Surrey, Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Wiltshire. The enlarged Collard Group will now employ over 400 full time staff, have over 4000 skips, a 150-vehicle fleet and turnover in excess of £50 million. The acquisition propels the company further into the top-tier of waste companies with the capacity to process over 1 million tonnes of waste and recycling every year.

Don Coates, Raymond Brown Chief Executive Officer commented: “Raymond Brown Waste Solutions has been a key part of the group’s overall development but will now have more opportunities for growth as part of a focussed waste business. I thank my colleagues for their hard work and dedication to Raymond Brown Group over the years and wish them all the best in what I am sure will be a prospering waste company. Raymond Brown Group will now concentrate on growing its Quarry Products and Fortis IBA divisions both of which have had recent success in securing new reserves and contracts.”

The announcement coincides with the 25th Anniversary of the establishment of R Collard Ltd and is a perfect way for the company to celebrate a quarter of a century in the waste business.

Rob Collard, Founder and Owner said that it will be ‘business as usual’ following the announcement: “The integration of Raymond Brown Waste Solutions’ facilities, fleet, equipment and people including the existing management team will enable us to achieve a seamless transition of service for existing customers,” says Rob, “The deal brings together two successful businesses and strong brands, giving us more capacity across a much bigger area and expanding the services available to Raymond Brown Waste Solutions’ existing customers.”

Raymond Brown was advised by Quercus (Corporate Finance), CRS (Legals), GT (Tax). Collard Group was advised by Menzies (Financial) and HCR (Legals).

Raymond Brown Reaccredited with Bronze FORS

Raymond Brown are proud to have successfully met the assessment criteria to be reaccredited with the Bronze Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS).

The FORS Bronze accreditation confirms that an operator employs good practice and complies with the requirements laid out by the FORS Standard.  This includes demonstrating dedication to driver and vehicle safety, combined with improving operating practices through effective monitoring of fuel and tyre usage.

Heather McLintock, Health, Safety and Audit Manager commented: “We are extremely proud to have received our Bronze FORS Accreditation for the third consecutive year.  We are continually improving our vehicles and processes as we work to maintain the highest level of safety for our drivers and road users and improve fuel efficiency.” 

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.