The natural world is beautiful and something that we can all enjoy. However, there is an increasing awareness of the fragility of the biodiversity that surrounds us and the threats it is facing. Between 1970 and 2013, 56% of monitored species in the UK declined in numbers.
We are committed to ensuring that we create places where nature can thrive and we take great care during construction to protect the existing biodiversity from harm.
100% of our sites undergo an ecological assessment to better understand local habitats and what species exist within those habitats. Measures are then taken to protect and, in some cases enhance those habitats, to encourage the species to prosper.
We work with ecologists and landscape architects to create as many spaces for nature as possible. This could be open green spaces in a playpark, tree-lined streets, green or brown roofs, or even small corridors between homes planted with shrubs that provide birds and bats with food or shelter. Many of our sites have a dedicated Biodiversity Action Plan and a Landscape Management Plan to ensure that all green spaces, big and small, and the wildlife that lives there thrive.
As part of a regeneration project at the Waltham Forest Town Hall campus, we have been selected as the delivery partner to build 500 new homes, 50% of which will be affordable, as well as a brand new civic building.
The existing campus sits within a large open green space with a number of mature trees. Working with our ecologists and landscape architects, we are enhancing the existing biodiversity by planting a number of new trees, hedgerows and shrubs; creating green roofs with a rich native flora seed mix; installing bird and bat boxes; and also creating a wetland.
The benefits of nature to our mental and physical wellbeing are well known, and we want to create welcoming green spaces for everyone at Fellowship Square, Waltham Forest Town Hall. To support this aim, we are proposing to build a sensory garden that will allow people to connect with nature by encouraging them to be become more aware of their surroundings through the basic senses of sight, smell, sound, touch and taste. This garden will particularly support people with autism and dementia, who can significantly benefit from sensory triggers to connect with wild spaces.