In a bid to reverse the decline of Britain’s native wildlife, Redrow is using its home-making skills to provide homes for a very different kind of customer.
To mark a new wildlife partnership with RSPB, the national housebuilder has committed to providing new habitats where birds and animals can flourish around its new developments.
Redrow’s link up with the RSPB will involve building features such as nest boxes and bird bricks into plans for new homes in selected areas, to tie in with the charity’s successful “Giving Nature a Home” campaign. The partnership will initially run for 12 months.
A new housing development planned on the former site of a 6000-space car park in Chaul End, Caddington, near Dunstable, surrounded by woodland, is just one of the spots selected to reintroduce wildlife-friendly habitats to land previously unsupportive of flora and fauna, something Redrow is understandably very proud to be doing.
Nigel Smith, Redrow’s Group research and sustainability director, said: “It’s fantastic to be joining forces with RSPB. There’s a fitting synergy between building new homes for families to enjoy for a lifetime and integrating sustainable new habitats for wildlife. Incorporating green space into our developments has long been a priority for Redrow but this partnership focuses our efforts on further enhancing some of those areas with tailor-made habitats where nature can thrive.”
The new link up sits alongside previous commitments to fund and provide wildlife habitats. Only last year, Redrow became the first major homebuilder to partner with the Bumblebee Conservation Trust (BBCT). The company made a commitment to introduce a series of habitats to boost bumblebee numbers, which have been in dramatic decline over recent years.
As part of its sustainability commitment, Redrow has already undertaken a project within the grounds of its national headquarters at St David’s Park in Ewloe, Flintshire. Alongside new wildflower planting the company has created valuable new homes for a range of birds, insects and small mammals, including bug shelters, small bee hives, bird boxes (some with cameras to monitor nesting), bird roosting pouches and hedgehog homes.
Redrow is actively promoting the partnership to its homeowners too and encouraging them to create suitable natural habitats in their own garden. The housebuilder will also be getting local communities involved by providing wildlife tours at its head office for children from local schools. Organised by the company’s ‘Green Teams’ – groups of employees committed to improving Redrow’s eco-credentials – the tours will show youngsters how wildlife can flourish in the right environment.
Nigel added: “By pairing up with RSPB for its Give Nature a Home campaign, we’re ensuring our collective efforts all work towards the same goal. We’re able to work together in designing the development from scratch and so make a real difference to boost the populations of birds and other creatures in the areas in which we build.”
Nigel Symes, of RSPB, said: “This project is a natural extension of the RSPB’s work to provide new opportunities for birds like the house sparrow and swift, which have declined by more than 50% in recent times, to thrive again. The RSPB understands the national need for more housing; our aim is for it to be nature friendly and therefore be better places for people to live. We are very pleased to be working with Redrow on this exciting project to help create a nature rich housing development from a huge area of tarmac; we have a great opportunity to design just the kinds of things that nature, not just birds, need into the development, which can complement the surrounding environment, and so make a real difference.”
Of the 6,000 British wildlife species assessed in the State of Nature Report in 2013more than one in 10 are under threat of disappearing from our shores altogether. The RSPB’s Give Nature a Home campaign protects areas of land, restoring damaged land and returning it to the ideal conditions for threatened plants, insects, including bumblebees, birds, reptiles and amphibians, so it fits perfectly with the aims of another of Redrow’s partners, the Bumblebee Conservation Trust (BBCT), too.
The RSPB works with partners such as other nature conservation organisations, landowners, farmers and businesses to enhance landscapes, farms, parks, cities and communities into homes for nature; providing space for nature across the UK and creating better health and wellbeing for everyone.