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RSPB aims to tackle housing crisis with plans to build one million homes in the UK

Last modified: 20 June 2013

Hedgehog coming through fence tunnel

Image: Eleanor Bentall

Today (20 June) we've launched a campaign to help tackle the housing crisis facing the UK’s threatened wildlife. Giving Nature a Home urges the nation to provide a place for wildlife in their own gardens and outside spaces.

We hope to inspire people across the UK to create a million new homes for nature.

The next step

The launch of the campaign comes a month after 25 wildlife organisations, including the RSPB, released the ground-breaking State of Nature[i] report revealing 60 per cent of the wildlife species studied have declined over recent decades.

Many garden favourites were among the creatures shown to be in serious trouble including starlings, hedgehogs, some butterflies and ladybirds. All are in danger of further declines unless more is done to provide better habitats. 

Getting individuals to act for nature in their own gardens is the first part of a package of actions that the RSPB is launching in response to the State of Nature. Over the course of the next few months, we'll be outlining what businesses, communities and politicians can do, as well as detailing the RSPB's own plans for saving nature.

Garden lifeline

Mike Clarke, RSPB Chief Executive says: “Nature in the UK is in trouble and some of our more familiar garden species are amongst those suffering serious declines. Gardens provide a valuable lifeline for species like starlings, toads, hedgehogs and butterflies, which are struggling to find homes in the wider countryside. 

“Although the overall problem is huge, the solution can start on a small scale, right on our doorsteps. It doesn’t matter what sort of garden you have, what size it is, or even if you have no garden at all, we need everyone to help by turning their outside space into a wildlife haven.

“The more people that get involved in our Giving Nature a Home campaign the better. Our aim is to provide one million homes for nature across the UK, because if there’s no home for nature, then there’s no nature – it really is that serious.”

 TV homes expert, Linda Barker, is one of the famous faces supporting the campaign. She said: “I’m getting behind the RSPB’s campaign because, to me, having wildlife in your garden is the perfect finishing touch to any home. Planting wild flowers, digging a pond or creating a log pile for bugs is not just a good way of getting creative and making your garden more attractive, but it will also benefit threatened garden wildlife at the same time. Individual actions will make a difference and start to help tackle the lack of habitats for some of our wild creatures. In my garden I’ve put up a nest box for birds and planted nectar-rich flowers to attract bees. If everyone can do just one thing and gave nature a home in their outside space it would be amazing - together we can make a big difference.” 

Promotion

To help spread the word, we've joined up with Rightmove, the UK's number one property website, to help promote the campaign to homeowners, renters and those looking to get onto the property ladder.

Matt James from Rightmove, said: “Though we’re more used to helping people find a home than helping them build one, when the RSPB told us about the parlous position of some of the UK’s favourite species we felt compelled to throw our support behind the campaign. More than a million people visit Rightmove every single day looking for a new place to call home and we’ll be doing our bit to spread the word about just how easy it can be to make a difference.”

To spread the word and inspire individuals from a across the country to build homes for nature in their own gardens and balconies, the RSPB is embarking on its first-ever primetime TV advertising campaign, beginning on 5 July.

New website

The Giving Nature a Home website will give everyone access to expert advice about helping nature in any outside space– whether it’s a huge garden or a small planting tub on balcony.

By visiting this website people can get their free Giving Nature a Home starter guide, help populate a map by telling the charity when and where they’ve given nature a home, and share pictures, tips and ideas with others.  You can also find out more about what the RSPB is doing to give nature a home in the wider countryside.

 
Ends
 

[i] The State of Nature report: Working side-by-side, 25 wildlife organisations have compiled stock take of all our native wildlife. The report reveals that 60 per cent of the species studied have declined over recent decades. More than one in ten of all the species assessed are under threat of disappearing from our shores altogether. However, the report illustrates that targeted conservation has produced inspiring success stories and, with sufficient determination, resources and public support, we can turn the fortunes of our wildlife around. 

How you can help

Nature in the UK is in trouble and some of our more familiar garden species are amongst those suffering serious declines. We can all help by give nature a home where we live.

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