RSPB and Barratt Homes extend partnership to give nature a home in York

Local housebuilder, Barratt Homes, has announced the renewal and extension of a unique partnership with the RSPB for another three years. The partnership aims to deliver more wildlife friendly housing across York, helping to give nature a home.

Barratt Homes and the RSPB will work together to boost biodiversity and promote wildlife at developments including Meadow Fields in Boroughbridge, York. The aim of the partnership is to help welcome all forms of wildlife and nature on new housing developments, and is implemented through initiatives such as hedgehog highways, wild bee friendly planting and swift bricks – a nest box inside a brick which helps the birds breed while in the UK each summer.

Over the last 50 years, 56% of species have declined while 15% are at risk of disappearing from our shores altogether. With the country’s wildlife continuing to struggle, the groundbreaking partnership between Europe’s largest nature conservation charity and the country’s largest housebuilder is setting the benchmark for nature friendly homes.

The first three years of the partnership have been a resounding success with both organisations working together to agree best practice on what are the most effective plants and shrubs to use in gardens, the best times in the year to survey local species and how to make good use of existing nature features on new developments. In addition, the partnership is helping homeowners by offering guidance and advice on how to help nature thrive.

Welcoming the renewal, Mike Clarke, chief executive of the RSPB, said: “The wildlife we see and hear where we live is important. Having birds, butterflies, bees, hedgehogs and other visitors in our gardens makes us feel good about where we live as well as improving our own sense of wellbeing. Unfortunately our natural world is in trouble, so it is vital that we look at how construction can be sympathetic to nature and how future communities can welcome wildlife.

“For three years the RSPB and Barratt Homes have been working together to create spaces for nature and wildlife, and I am pleased that we will be continuing our partnership for another three years, leading to more new neighbourhoods being designed with nature in mind.”

Paul Newman, Managing Director of Barratt Homes Yorkshire East, said: “Our partnership renews our commitment to building great places that provide high quality homes and supports the environment for people and wildlife alike to thrive. We will continue to work together on nature friendly best practice that helps people, plants and animals become healthier and happier.”

The partnership has received particular praise for designing an innovative new swift brick to support the migratory birds with much-needed nesting sites in new homes to help reverse their declining numbers. Other awards for the partnership over the last three years have included a What House silver award for best partnership scheme, a BIG biodiversity challenge award for showhome garden designs and a prestigious RSPCA animal hero award for its flagship sustainable development, Kingsbrook

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