Our approach is simple: the protection and enhancement of existing natural features is our primary focus. This not only prevents disturbance to wildlife but also helps the new development bed-in to its local surroundings and provides opportunities for the community to enjoy the health and wellbeing benefits of nature on their doorstep. Next, we identify opportunities to create new green spaces which will help join-up existing habitats enabling wildlife to move through the area safely. These include green routes for people and wildlife; open spaces with community orchards and meadows; new wildlife ponds and waterways; and even verges can be planted with wildflowers to provide nectar for butterflies and bees. All of our new developments have plans in place to conserve and enhance wildlife and habitats. Find out more about how we are working with The Wildlife Trusts to further develop our approach to nature conservation here.
Redrow has worked closely with the People’s Trust for Endangered Species and the British Hedgehog Preservation society to develop the ‘Hedgehog Highways’ initiative. The scheme provides a simple way of making gardens hedgehog friendly, by introducing small squared marked holes into new garden fences to allow hedgehogs to move freely between gardens whilst they forage for food and mates.
Its not just humans who've made their home at our Carey Fields development. Various insects, amphibians and other wildlife have also moved in to take advantage of the new habitats and pond areas. Local resident Darryl Sutcliffe, who assists with the recordkeeping of dragonflies in Northamptonshire through the British Dragonfly Society, has been observing the different species that have colonised the area since work on the new homes started in 2014. He has recorded sightings of many different species of dragonfly, as well as a common newts and various butterflies and bumblebees.
At our Caddington Woods development we have worked with both the RSPB and Bumblebee Conservation Trust to ensure we protect and enhance existing species as well as creating new habitats to increase wildlife on the development. This site was previously a large car park surrounded by 35 acres of broadleaved woodland, which has been retained with new management plans in place to enhance the woodland areas. Two existing ponds have been expanded and enhanced and new species rich grassland and native shrub planting through the development are all of high ecological value. The site is due to achieve net gains of 64% for biodiversity.
At our Heritage Park development in Penymynydd, Flintshire we developed a nature reserve adjacent to the development. Work on the White Lion Nature Reserve included the construction of walkways, 6 ponds, wildflower meadows and hedgerows. The reserve was subsequently gifted to the ARC Trust with access for the local community. Now it’s a place where guided walks, species surveys and pond dipping sessions, delivered by the ARC Trust, are popular activities with the community. The reserve is now home to five native amphibian species, including the protected great crested newt, as well as the rare mud snail. The six ponds, wildflower meadows and hedgerows also provide homes for a variety of wildlife species such as mammals, birds and invertebrates. The Great Crested Newt population was monitored before, during and after construction and has flourished due to the new reserve; there has been a 6-fold increase in newts from what was originally surveyed predevelopment. The project won the small-scale project of the year award at this year’s CIRIA’s Biodiversity BIGChallenge Awards; recognised for its partnership approach, community centered focus, ecological outputs and legacy.
Our Heathlands community in Buckley, North Wales has transformed the derelict site of a former clay-pit and brickworks into a thriving new community of 300 homes for humans and 45 new ponds for newts and a host of other wildlife. The project involved filling in an old unsafe lagoon and creating a new multi-pond nature reserve financed by the creation of the new homes. Protected Great Crested Newts were already present in the unsafe lagoon although the population was considered to be in unfavourable condition and declining. Following the restoration project and the creation of the new ponds and habitats, latest surveys show an 85% occupancy rate in the newly created ponds, with a Welsh record peak count of 1,173, near tripling the 2017 count and smashing the KPI target of 600 adults counted across the wider survey areas. The mitigation scheme at Heathlands has therefore significantly contributed towards the reversal of the conservation status of the great crested newt population within the Special Areas of Conservation. Our initial investment alongside annual Heathlands residents’ payments provides a full-time warden for the site, along with a new (green roofed) based for Wild Ground, a northeast Wales wildlife charity, who implements the long-term habitat management plan for this special site in perpetuity.