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Our Commitment to Biodiversity

Written by Sustainability

8 Apr 2020

Redrow's Commitment to Biodiversity

Never has living close to open green spaces been so important. Being able to step outside your front door and immediately access footpaths, fields, woodland or parkland is a massive boost to physical and mental welfare.

 

And it’s why biodiversity is so important to Redrow when planning its new homes.

‘Nature for people’ is one of eight place making principles integral to each of our developments. 

Wherever possible our schemes are designed with features such as 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.

It's an approach that is certainly paying off in the current climate, with so many of our home owners able to enjoy nature and exercise safely without straying too far from home.

It’s Redrow’s aim to 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. 

 

New residents are connected with nature and a beautiful, sustainable community is created where they can use the green spaces to relax, play, socialise and exercise.

 

Nicola Johansen, our Group sustainability manager, explains: “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.”

 

It’s an approach that 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,” Nicola says.  

 

“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.”

 

Redrow was one of the first UK housebuilders to embark on developing an ambitious strategy to achieve biodiversity net gain across all of its developments to ensure wildlife habitats are enhanced and left in a measurably better state than they were pre-development. 

 

We recently partnered with The Wildlife Trusts to review our existing biodiversity strategy and identify areas where further improvements could be made. They will now help us to implement our latest strategy at developments across the UK – with efforts centred on creating healthy, thriving communities that enable residents to be closer to nature. 

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