New build garden wins national award for biodiversity

New build garden wins national award for biodiversity

A show home garden in the village of Long Itchington, Warwickshire from housebuilder David Wilson Homes has won an award for its biodiversity.

Scooping the ‘Temporary Award’ in the Big Biodiversity Challenge Awards, the garden, which has been created in partnership with the RSPB and is located at David Wilson Homes Mercia’s Spinney Fields development, is full of features designed to attract wildlife.

The ‘Temporary Award’ promotes non-permanent environmental enhancements, such as a green hording, a temporary green wall or a community engagement initiative.

The partnership between the RSPB and the developer aims to boost natural habitats at developments across the country using updated landscaping and new guidance.

As one of the first gardens of its kind in the country the Spinney Fields concept is now being rolled out at a number of its other new homes developments across the country.

John Fitzgerald, Managing Director at David Wilson Homes Mercia said, “We are delighted to have won this award which demonstrates how we can build new homes and at the same time protect and enhance the biodiversity of a local area, benefitting the economy, creating employment and improving health and wellbeing for our customers and the communities we create.”

Paul Stephen, Biodiversity Adviser for the RSPB and David Wilson Homes’ parent company Barratt Developments Plc added, “As the country’s wildlife struggles, with 60% of plants and animals facing decline, it is hoped that the partnership between the country’s largest homebuilder and the nation’s largest conservation charity will help boost biodiversity and it is fantastic that the garden has been recognised in this way.

“We hope that many more developments as well as the residents themselves choose to make a home for nature in their own gardens. This is just one step that Barratt Developments Plc have made to improve their approach to biodiversity.”

The judges said, “This project had great potential to be a nationally significant model that could be used on other developments by other organisations. There was impressive engagement with RSPB, community and potential buyers.

“We liked this project because it provides examples of the variety of different ecological interventions that can be easily measured and compared between different developments and it is this replicability can be taken forward to other developments.”

Visitors to the garden will be able to spot bird boxes, bat boxes, bee and butterfly friendly plants, a pond, a hedgehog house and hedgehog highway as well as a hibernaculum built by Year Three pupils from Long Itchington Primary School last winter.

For more information about the Big Biodiversity Challenge Awards, which are organised by CIRIA – The Biodiversity Interest Group click here.

Image (L-R): Stephen Woolridge, Philippa Stewart, Jessica Faulkner and Paul Stephen of David Wilson Homes and James Hewetson-Brown from Wild Flower Turf

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