Redrow, the leading UK housebuilder, is championing nature and has taken the step of adopting an innovative ‘net gain’ approach to biodiversity across its developments.
Redrow will measure the ecological value of land prior to development and then take steps to enhance this following the creation of new homes, amenities and green spaces. It will be one of the first housebuilders in the UK to develop a strategic approach to achieving a net biodiversity gain across its developments.
The net gain approach has been trialled across several Redrow developments. Two of the communities that achieved a net positive score, meaning they had a positive impact on biodiversity, were Caddington Woods in Bedfordshire and Saxon Brook in Exeter. At Caddington Woods, Redrow has been working with the RSPB on the former site of a 6,000-space car park to manage and improve broadleaf woodland areas and their associated wildlife. At Saxon Brook Redrow is working with the Bumblebee Conservation Trust creating pollinator friendly habitats. Not only does this bumblebee haven help to protect these important creatures, but also provides beautiful spaces for residents to enjoy.
This commitment and pilot is the latest in a series of initiatives and partnerships Redrow has embarked on to enhance biodiversity at its developments. Redrow’s West Country division won an award at the BIG Biodiversity Challenge Awards 2017 for its Hedgehog Highways at its Glenwood Park development in Barnstaple. Redrow was the first housebuilder to be awarded the WWF’s coveted ‘Three Trees’ status in 2015 for its commitment to using sustainable timber and has just been awarded this again in the second assessment period.
At its flagship developments Redrow strives to create swathes of green open space. For example at Woodford Garden Village in Cheshire, the housebuilder is creating 50 acres of green public spaces; Buckshaw Village in Lancashire delivered half a million square metres of landscaped open spaces and at Colindale Gardens in London, Redrow has dedicated nine acres of public green spaces as part of the 49 acre development. Ebbsfleet Garden City, where Redrow is building up to 950 new homes, is the largest pilot in the Healthy New Town Programme led by NHS England, including a range of wildlife habitats.
Nicola Johansen, Sustainability Manager and biodiversity lead at Redrow Homes, said:
“At Redrow we don’t just build homes, we strive to foster thriving communities, and promoting natural habitats and wildlife in an accessible way for residents is an integral part of this.”
“We know that living in a community with easy access to nature and open space can improve happiness and health and provides opportunities to socialise with others. This is why we focus on creating and enhancing wildlife habitats such as woodlands, meadows and ponds on our developments. It’s a win-win strategy; better for our customers and better for the wildlife.”
“We have established important partnerships and initiatives in recent years relating to site ecology and wildlife. In order to entrench the importance of biodiversity across the business we are now taking the step of measuring biodiversity on our developments, to ensure we are having a positive impact and can make improvements where necessary.”