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Biodiversity Rules!

Written by Sustainability

29 Apr 2020

Our Group Sustainability Manager Nicola Johansen takes us through exactly how Redrow delivers 'Nature for People'

Nature for People is one of eight placemaking principles integral to every one of our developments

Wildlife is an essential part of life and so it is our responsibility to protect and enhance habitats as much as we can. To ensure this happens, Redrow has a range of principles and approaches for all its developments so we can provide a place to be enjoyed by residents for generations to come and a legacy of green spaces and natural habitats for wildlife and people alike.

This is reflected in Redrow’s core values of ‘building responsibly’, ‘developing thriving communities’ and ‘valuing people’.

These values influence every step we take, from deciding where we will buy land and build and how we plan a development, through to the construction phase and way beyond. In fact, we build our developments with the future firmly in mind.

Our aim is to give all buyers an unparalleled experience when buying a Redrow home; it’s not just the four walls they are investing in but the community and its landscape.

When creating a new community there is an opportunity to respond sensitively to and integrate with the existing natural features, as well as provide new wildlife habitats. Our design approach means we consider the existing landscape and natural assets such as mature trees and ponds first; and then work around these to create places that accommodate nature and bring it into the heart of the new place.

This approach also provides a range of benefits for the residents of the new community. For example, research has found a connection between the richness of biodiversity and mental wellbeing; while being closer to nature means we can learn more about it, which is especially important for children.

As with the original Garden Cities in the 1900s, we recognise that taking a landscape-led approach to new homes and setting them within a rich natural environment fosters a strong sense of community as well as providing a beautiful place to live. By designing places so that green spaces and tree-lined streets are closely integrated with our homes, we are providing for a physical, visual and psychological connection with nature.

The more we can do to protect and enhance biodiversity, the better it is for the immediate environment, the planet and humans

Redrow will soon be releasing a new biodiversity strategy centred on a continued effort to create healthy, thriving communities that enable residents to be closer to nature. When developing the new strategy, we partnered up with the Wildlife Trusts to use their expertise to review our existing plans and see what areas could be improved. The trust is now helping us to implement the strategy at our development across the UK. 

Redrow are one of the first UK house builders to embark on developing an ambitious strategy to achieve biodiversity net gain across all of our developments and ensure habitats for wildlife are enhanced and left in a measurably better state than they were pre-development - leaving a positive environmental legacy. 

Redrow developments are designed with tree-lined streets, wildflower meadows, allotments and orchards, as well as ponds and streams. We also use native, local species in our planting. These all enhance natural diversity as well as capture carbon, reduce air pollution, encourage pollinator activity and provide a beautiful green setting for the new community.

We all feel happier when we have nature around us where we live, work and play so it’s vital that new housing developments are built to integrate space for both wildlife and people to help to create healthy and happy communities.

We ensure we bring communities to life and do all we can to enhance and protect existing landscapes. We also connect new habitats with wider biodiversity networks and make these accessible to the new community. 

This is especially true in our Garden Village design approach where we seek to deliver well-connected green networks comprising front gardens, hedges, tree-lined streets, green spaces (including play areas and walking and cycling routes) and wildlife habitats that are easily accessible from all homes.

By putting all of these features at the heart of the design for the new place we ensure that we have protected and sensitively incorporated biodiversity, that the new residents are connected with nature and that a beautiful, sustainable community is created where residents can use the green spaces to relax, play, socialise and exercise.

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