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Housebuilder Renews Conservation Partnership to Boost Bee Numbers

Housebuilder Redrow is continuing to strengthen its relationship with the Bumblebee Conservation Trust (BBCT), helping to reverse a serious decline in the UK’s bumblebee population.

As the only major home builder to partner with the trust, Redrow is undertaking a pilot project at one of its developments in Exeter, Devon, to create a tailored pollinator friendly habitat. It will use the project as a blueprint to roll-out a nationwide scheme to create similar wildflower areas on all of its developments in the future.

Rob Macdiarmid, Redrow’s Group sustainability director, said: “We greatly value our partnership with the Bumblebee Conservation Trust and we’re looking forward to forging a long-term relationship that will enable us to create more and more bee-friendly habitats across the UK in a bid to boost bumblebee numbers.

“Our work at Saxon Brook in Pinhoe, Exeter, is the first project we’ve undertaken on this scale within a new development and it’s expected that the knowledge we gain will be shared across our technical departments in all 14 of our housing divisions to expand the scheme far and wide.”

Saxon Brook, on the eastern edge of Pinhoe, has been granted planning consent for the first three phases, which will comprise 165 brand new homes, with a further two phases to follow, subject to planning. A mix of two, three, four and five-bedroom homes will be available.

The BBCT will be working with Redrow’s landscaping contractors on how to best design and manage the site to ensure the benefits are felt longer-term, long after developments have been completed, for the benefit of new residents, the wider community and, of course, the bumblebee population.

Last year Redrow introduced eco-friendly habitats within the grounds of its UK headquarters in North Wales.

The BBCT’s vision is to ensure that the UK’s communities and countryside are rich in bumblebees and wildflowers and supporting a diverse range of wildlife. The organisation recently featured in the BBC Lifeline appeal which helped to shine a national spotlight on how vital bees are to our own survival because we rely on them for much of our food production and for flower pollination.

Celebrating its 10-year anniversary this year, the BBCT has 9,500 members and has worked with over 400 farmers and landowners to create, restore or enhance over 3,000 hectares of flower-rich habitat for bumblebees. Over the next decade they aim to create a further 10,000 hectares of sustainable habitat for bumblebees and raise awareness about the importance of bees to encourage members of the public to take action.

Gill Perkins, CEO at BBCT, commented: “Bumblebees keep us healthy by pollinating our fruit and vegetables. It is vital we reverse their declines and we aim to make new housing developments with Redrow Homes bumblebee havens. Our partnership will lead the way in promoting pollinator friendly landscaping on housing developments.”

In the last 80 years bumblebee populations have declined dramatically. Two species have become nationally extinct and several others have seen their numbers plummet.

For more information on BBCT visit bumblebeeconservation.org

For information on Redrow visit www.redrowplc.co.uk/sustainability.

Established more than 40 years, Redrow Homes is one of the UK’s leading house builders, with a £1billion turnover and building more than 4,000 homes in 2014/15 financial year.

Operating across England and Wales, there is a strong emphasis on providing high quality homes in prime locations and its housing ranges feature designs to suit all lifestyles:

• The Heritage Collection combines traditional looking, ‘Arts & Crafts’ influenced exteriors with bright, modern, high specification interiors.

• The classically styled Regent Collection features Georgian inspired street scenes and architecture.

• Redrow has also launched a new brand of contemporary homes in Abode, which boast open plan layouts with streamlined kitchen, dining and lounge areas, high specification wet rooms and outdoor living space.

Redrow also creates exclusive bespoke developments in both rural and urban locations. The company has won numerous awards over the years, including, most recently, the Gold Award for Best Large Housebuilder at the What House? Awards 2015 and 2014, Best House Design at the Sunday Times British Home Awards 2015 and the 2014 Building Awards Housebuilder of the Year. Its ‘My Redrow’ online tool won the overall Customer Engagement category at the 2013 Peer Awards for Excellence. Web: www.redrow.co.uk.