Expanded clay is provided in a 25 litre bag and is used to retain water in the reservoir/wet habitat areas of the NatureArk to provide moisture for plant growth, and damp conditions to support micro-organisms, amphibians and reptiles.
NatureArk has been developed with the same principles as the BioCube, to support, grow and create species-rich eco-systems and provide biodiversity net gain from a single multi-habitat unit. NatureArk is a smaller unit constructed from untreated timber to avoid the presence of unwanted chemicals and is therefore designed to degrade over time.
The NatureArk has full ground contact and connectivity for the integrated dead wood habitat and planting areas. It is supplied with two removeable wet and dry habitats, together with water reservoirs and central and side planting areas.
Within the centre of the NatureArk is a dead wood habitat with access to the ground below and to the outside of the unit. At each end of the unit there are separate wet and dry habitats for small mammals, hedgehogs and amphibians; they are sheltered by the dead wood habitat which provides insulation, protection from predators and reduces external noises which can disturb wildlife. The sides of the dead wood habitat are protected by a planting area which can be filled with growing media, and above the dead wood habitat is the core reservoir; the reservoir provides shelter to the dead wood habitat, keeping the centre dry for species preferring a drier environment.
The core reservoir provides an additional wet habitat and is designed to overflow into the separate wet habitat unit below, keeping it moist for species preferring this type of environment. The reservoir is designed to be filled with stone and the water provides irrigation to plants above in the main planting area.
The topsoil/growing media in the main planting area provides insulation and protection to the dead wood habitat below. There are an additional two side reservoirs down each side of the dead wood habitat, providing further irrigation and wet habitat.
Patents applied for GB.1812559.1, GB.1916191.8 and PCT/GB2020/050911