Making space for nature

Partnership working can provide new opportunities for learning, and can be the driver of many successful development projects.  Redrow house builders have teamed up with Bumblebee Conservation Trust (BBCT) over the last 5-years to support the conservation of pollinators in England and Wales through the development of their sites. In our blog today, Gill Perkins from BBCT tells us more about the partnership. 

Bumblebee Conservation Trust (BBCT) is a leading invertebrate charity in the UK with technical expertise and strong track record of habitat delivery, awareness raising and public engagement. BBCT represents a unique blend of scientific credibility with a friendly practical approach.

As a leading house builder Redrow prides itself on building responsibly and creating great places to live. Redrow focusses on well-designed developments that create a sense of community, with local amenities and green spaces that enhance nature and the wellbeing of the people who live there.

1.1.14 Buff-tailed Bumblebee, Bombus terrestris

Our story
There is an acknowledged need for more housing in the UK and there is a widespread understanding that nature is under pressure.

The partnership between Redrow Homes and BBCT is about creating relationships that work, are sustained, and ensure Redrow’s future housing developments are better for nature, better for the health and well-being of home owners, better for pollinators, and better for future generations.

Redrow recognised that planning policies provide a good strategic vision for providing for nature through housing developments; however, these policies are often about protecting nature rather than enhancing it, and are not always translated effectively at ground level.

The partnership with BBCT ensured that pollinators specifically, and nature generally, became central to their plans.  A unique partnership with successes, challenges, learning, developing, refocusing and achievements continues.

The story starts and continues at Saxon Brook, a development in Exeter. The first of its kind; a unique and innovative housing development that has recognised the need to support our dwindling pollinators. The development boasts beautiful landscaped areas designed to encourage pollinators and other wildlife at the same time as providing colourful, beautiful and inspiring spaces for residents to enjoy. (200)

Urban spaces and gardens are becoming increasingly important for the UK’s declining population of pollinators and have the potential to provide crucial food and nest sites for bumblebees and other insects.  Working together to create bee-friendly housing developments and encouraging new home-owners to do the same in their new gardens, the two organisations have been able to achieve several key objectives that couldn’t have been realised alone.

Together we aim to change the way people think about their gardens, the area they live in and the community they are part of.  Providing an environment that is inspiring and educational for the community could be the most important application of urban ecology, as a means of promoting effective conservation of native species.

Redrow and BBCT worked together on:

Design

  • Developing a joint understanding the journey of a development and the points at which BBCT could enhance the development in favour of pollinators.

Engagement

  • Engaging with children on sites, planting bulbs, developing inspiring, educational stories and resources.

Maintenance & Legacy

  • Training and engagement with landscaping and maintenance contractors to ensure the landscaping is managed appropriately and continues to flourish and support bumblebees in the future.

The future
The work continues with the development of a Biodiversity Net Gain strategy and a further 4 development sites for pollinators.

Together we are buzzing.

All photos provided by BBCT

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