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22/07/2019

Housebuilders told to protect wildlife

Words: Laura Edgar
Hedgehogs / Shutterstock_1007540725

Housing secretary James Brokenshire has told developers they must to do more to protect wildlife in Britain.

New guidance sets out how the government expects developers to protect specific species, such as using hedgehog highways and hollow swift bricks (which are installed into the walls of new-build homes to allow the bird to nest safely).

The government says that builders should think about the long-term impact of their developments on the local ecosystem during and after construction. This could include creating drainage areas to create wetlands for bird and amphibians. Developers should also plant more trees and green meadows to give insects such as the British honey bee a safe place to thrive.

The guidance states that green infrastructure can help planning:

  • Build a strong, competitive economy.
  • Achieve well-designed places that feature green roofs, street trees, proximity to woodland, public gardens and recreational and open spaces.
  • Promote healthy and safe communities. Green infrastructure can provide opportunities for recreation, exercise, social interaction, experiencing and caring for nature, community food-growing and gardening, which can bring mental and physical health benefits.
  • Mitigate climate change, flooding and coastal change, by contributing to carbon storage, cooling and shading, opportunities for species migration to more suitable habitats and the protection of water quality and other natural resources.
  • Conserve and enhance the natural environment by facilitating biodiversity net gain and nature recovery networks, as well as providing opportunities for communities to undertake conservation work.

The guidance can be found here on the UK Government website.

Image credit | Shutterstock

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