Published: 00:01, 08 April 2018
A partnership between the RSPB and a leading developer aimed at building more wildlife-friendly homes in the county has been extended by three years.
Barratt Homes, which is behind several high profile sites in Kent including Ebbsfleet Garden City's Castle Hill, first teamed up with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds in 2015.
Since then hedgehog highways have been created, bee-friendly flowers planted and bricks to house swifts installed.
The initiative has seen the organisations work together to survey nature and give advice to residents on how to help it thrive.
In the last 50 years 56% of species have declined while 15% are at risk of disappearing from the UK altogether.
It's for this reason that Barratt, the country’s largest house builder, says working with Europe’s largest nature conservation charity is so vital and sets the benchmark for other developers.
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.”
The partnership has received particular praise for designing an innovative new 'swift brick' to support the iconic birds with nesting sites in new homes.
Mark Bailey, managing director of Barratt Homes in Kent, 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’ll continue to work together on nature friendly best practice that helps people, plants and animals alike become healthier and happier.”
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