How to participate ?

The 6th Edition of the Quarry Life Award- Heidelberg Materials nature-based competition is open for registration. Project proposals can be submitted until 18 November 2024.

On 2 December 2024 projects will be selected to enter the competition. Names of the winners of the national and international competitions will be revealed at the end of 2025.

Project Team

Projects can be carried out by individuals or teams. If the participants are not yet of legal age, the project must be supported and led by an adult. In principle, participation is only possible from the age of 14 and with parental consent.

Only one project submission is allowed per individual/team. In the case of a team project, the team must designate an adult project leader as the point of contact for the Quarry Life Award.

Heidelberg Materials employees cannot participate in the competition. They can support a team with the history of a site, past research and future plans of a site.

If an individual or a team is already working on a biodiversity project in a Heidelberg Materials quarry that has been commissioned or commenced before the start of the contest, it may not be entered into the contest. However, if that same project subsequently expands or develops a new biodiversity aspect in 2025, then that new aspect may apply to be entered into the contest.

Project proposal (Deadline 18 November 2024)

Submitting a project proposal is easy as 1 – 2 – 3.

1. Choose a stream and develop a project idea

To allow a fairer competition for all participants the Quarry Life Award is split in two streams.

The research stream:

We are looking for scientific projects that will increase the knowledge of extraction ecology and/or lead to improved biodiversity, landscape and water management in our quarrying sites.

The community stream:

We are targeting projects that will help the quarry and our operations to better connect with the community and raise awareness/educate a larger public about the biodiversity in our quarrying sites.

2. Choose your participating quarry

The Quarry Life Award takes place in the quarries and gravel pits of the Heidelberg Materials Group. It is recommended to first enquire as to which quarries are available in the participating country (the home country of the project team) in order to select the best site for the project idea. We also recommend choosing a quarry that is easy for the team to reach, for example by public transport.

Each participating quarry shows a description of the site, the habitats, flora & fauna found on site as well as past and ongoing nature projects.

To review the list of countries, open for the 6th edition, click on the button “countries”.

3. Register your project proposal

To register a project proposal, you need to open an account by clicking on the button “Register”. You will then be asked to fill in your profile details.

Fill in the project proposal form and describe your project idea by explaining the project objectives, methodology, actions and activities, the added value for nature, society, the quarrying site and company, the involved persons or groups, the project timeline & budget.

To help you prepare your project proposal offline, a word template with all compulsory fields is available in the ‘project proposal tab’ under the button “View proposal guidelines”.

Project proposals are to be submitted via your account in English and in your local language. English is required for the participation in the international contest.

> Registration is open until 18 November 2024 – 11PM (CET).

Project selection (2nd December 2024)

The Quarry Life Award jury in each national competition is to select the six best project proposals (three in each of the two streams) by 2nd December 2024. The jury will base their selection using the following criteria:

For the research stream:

  • Proposed methodology
  • Feasibility of the project
  • Innovation and creativity
  • Added value for science
  • Added value for the quarry
  • Proposed communication for project results
  • Local stakeholder involvement

For the community stream:

  • Educational value and raising general awareness
  • Added value for the community
  • Local stakeholders’ involvement
  • Added value for the site
  • Feasibility of the project
  • Proposed methodology
  • Innovation and creativity

> The 6 accepted ‘Proposals’ per national contest then become ‘Projects’.

Project research work (January – September 2025)

Each project will have a project blog page on the website for posting updates, findings, videos and photos. It is highly recommended for contestants to use these blogs and regularly update them. It not only gives publicity around the contestants’ work but also allows the national and international judges to follow their project (before and after their project visit). Posts in English are highly recommended for the international audience and the International Jury.

Projects will receive a small financial support from Heidelberg Materials as determined by each country. Any requested support should be included in the project proposal. Funds must be used exclusively for support of the project.

All contestants will receive a site-specific health and safety briefing from site management before beginning any work at a quarry/pit. All contestants must abide by the company’s site-specific health and safety regulations and requirements delivered in that meeting. Any individual not following health and safety regulations will be immediately disqualified (in the case of a team, your whole team will be disqualified – so make sure you stay safe!). Additionally, all team members will have to sign a consent form concerning data protection.

Final project report (Deadline 4 October 2025)

The ‘final project report’ should be of no more than 10 pages + Annexes (i.e. bachelor or master thesis, references, species lists, maps, drawings, pictures).

The final reports shall comprise the following elements.

For research stream projects:

  • Abstract (0,5 page)
  • Introduction:
    • For projects that are building up on a previous project, write a summary of actions that were already completed in the previous project.
    • Project objectives
  • Methods: a detailed description of the methods used during the project is required.
  • Results: the results of the project should be outlined and distinguished from the discussion.
  • Discussion:
    • Results should be analysed and discussed with reference to region/country taking into account other publications.
    • One paragraph should outline the added value of the project for science and for the quarry / company.
    • Recommendations and guidance for future project implementation and development on site is requested.
  • Final conclusion: a short summary of project findings/results and discussion.

For community stream projects:

  • Abstract (0,5 page)
  • Introduction:
    • For projects that are building up on a previous project, write a summary of actions that were already completed in the previous project.
    • Project objectives
  • Description: a short description of the site and the team members and the targeted audience of the project.
  • Actions and activities: a detailed description of planned or implemented actions and outreach activities done to elaborate the project, list of stakeholders involved.
  • Discussion:
    • Project teams should discuss the pro and contra and illustrate experiences.
    • One paragraph should outline the added value of the project for biodiversity, the society and the quarry / company.
    • Deliverables: practical implementation and development recommendations of the project are required.
  • Final conclusions: a short summary of the project findings and discussion.

> Language: Reports must be written in English plus local language. However, English is required in order to compete for international prizes.

Project report evaluation – Winners 2025

All project reports will be reviewed simultaneously by both the National and the International Juries who will respectively award national and international prizes. National winners will be revealed in November 2025 and international winners in December 2025.

All juries will use the same selection criteria as mentioned for the selection of project proposals. Moreover, they will review all competing projects taking into account the scientific rigour, the methodology, the added value for the quarrying site, the company and the community, the increase in knowledge of ecology and the outreach results with all stakeholders.

The key difference between the national and international evaluation is that the international awards go to those projects where the results/outputs can be transferred between sites and/or scaled up from site-specific to have national or international scope, and which can benefit the Heidelberg Materials Group’s activities in the long-term.

The uniqueness of the project together with the creativity will be important factors in its evaluation. The project must also be feasible and realistic. The focus must be on the promotion of biodiversity, increasing the knowledge of biodiversity, increasing of habitats and species in quarrying sites and nature protection aspects. The project will also be evaluated for supporting education and training, involvement of stakeholders, contributing to the Heidelberg Materials' biological database and for the development of Biodiversity Management Plans and Guidelines.

Prize money

At national level, the top 3 projects within each category stream will be rewarded, with first place receiving prize money with the purchasing power of € 4 000.

At the international level, one winner will be selected in each of six categories as mentioned below, which are independent of the two-stream competition at national level. In addition, a Grand Prize is awarded at the international level for the best project. International Winners will receive the following cash prizes in addition to any national prize they may have already won.

Categories each awarded 10.000€, are:

  • Biodiversity management
  • Habitat and species
  • Beyond Quarry Borders
  • Biodiversity and education
  • Connecting quarries and local communities
  • Nature-based solutions

And the overall winner is awarded: 30.000€