The RSPB is leading a progressive approach to wildlife-friendly housing in conjunction with Barratt Developments
and Aylesbury Vale District Council. This award-winning partnership, which involves working with the national Barratt team and AVDC ecologists, aims to show that new homes need not be at the expense of the natural world.
Our advisory work on Barratt’s flagship Kingsbrook development, just outside Aylesbury, where ultimately 2450 homes will be constructed, has already resulted in the inclusion of bat and swift boxes, the retention of greenspace and the planting of orchards as well as hedgehog highways among the many measures taken to ensure wildlife thrives throughout the area.
By engaging with development companies, the RSPB is increasing the likelihood that wildlife is considered at the start of the design process. With an estimated 200,000 new houses to be built each year across the UK, there is an urgent need to ensure developments do not become sterile places with little wildlife. And research has shown that homes that welcome the natural world are good not just for wildlife, but also for human health and wellbeing.
Significantly, Government is taking notice of this work. Kingsbrook was highlighted as an exemplar site in the Government's 25 Year Plan for the Environment following a visit in September 2017 from the then Housing Minister, Alok Sharma. Sharma commented that new developments should “complement and enhance, rather than threaten, the local and natural environment”.
The Kingsbrook project has garnered extensive media coverage, including articles in The Telegraph
and in Nature’s Home magazine
, and has helped to spread the message that considering wildlife needs when constructing new homes benefits all involved.