believe housing looks to BioScapes® to help achieve biodiversity targets
BioScapes® has teamed up with one of the largest housing associations in North-East England, believe housing, to boost biodiversity and to increase awareness of the subject within the local community.
The environmental team at believe housing selected products from the BioScapes range of unique, purpose-built integrated habitats to act as havens for local wildlife at offices, schools and communities across the county.
Benefits to education, wellbeing and the ecosystem
The aim is to help local residents more easily connect with the natural world. School children will get hands-on experience of looking after plants, animals and the environment – for both educational and wellbeing purposes. Older residents are able to reconnect with wild nature, perhaps rekindling experiences from an earlier time or building new relationships through the natural world.
One resident from Park Avenue Close in Crook said: “I’ve not seen clouds of butterflies since I was a child and I am so pleased that we will encourage wildlife here. I am sure this is something which will encourage residents to get involved and it would be super if we can have more”.
What’s more, the units are expected to provide a 10x uplift in biodiversity1.
To date, NatureArk® units have been installed at Oakley Cross Primary School, Bishop Auckland, Seascape Primary School in Peterlee, and Brandon Primary School, Durham, as well as St John’s Hall in Meadowfield – a community space where it will be used by groups such as Brownies, Guides and Forest Schools, with more in the pipeline.
One of believe housing’s environmental objectives is to support the community with these kinds of initiatives and projects to improve neighbourhoods. By donating these habitats to schools and communities in our area, we can help young people understand the importance of looking after the local environment and encourage to them to get involved. Andrea Baxter, Environmental Manager, believe housing
Meeting organisational objectives
Keen to promote biodiversity gain across their own sites, the believe housing team has also installed the larger BioCube® products at their Coast House and Country House offices and at Park Avenue Close in Crook. Future BioCubes are planned for Castle Close, Stanhope, Eden Grove in West Auckland and Proudfoot Drive, Bishop Auckland.
We recognised some time ago that increasing biodiversity is one of the key areas that a housing association like ours can have a real impact on the environment. We saw a great opportunity to trial these BioCubes and enhance our local environment. Bumblebees and hoverflies arrived at the BioCubes as soon as we planted them up, so I think it will be a great boost for wildlife. Ruth Dent, Director of Assets and Compliance, believe housing
Long term outcomes
Ahead of installation, the BioScapes team conducted an ecological survey, making recommendations on points such as the positioning of the units and suitable planting schemes using native species. Looking ahead, our ecology experts will continue to work with the believe team, using this pre-install information as a benchmark against which the impact of the installations can be measured.
More from believe housing and Oakley Cross Primary School about using BioScapes products
Click on the links below to find out more about the project from believe housing’s Community Investment Team Leader and Oakley Cross Primary School’s Headteacher, as well as information about believe housing’s environmental initiatives.
1.Based on data from ecological surveys conducted in product trials.