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Housebuilder teams up with RSPB to champion nature-friendly gardens

Company will showcase nature-friendly measures at its showhomes and give backing to charity website

As research from a recent YouGov poll reveals that two-thirds of people in the UK found nature to be a source of solace during the pandemic, local housebuilder Barratt David Wilson Homes is encouraging residents living at and around its developments in the county to create a home for wildlife in their garden or local green space.

The company has launched its Nature on Your Doorstep campaign in partnership with wildlife conservation charity the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). The project is designed to empower residents to share their outdoor spaces with native wildlife.

The three-year long project will curate an online community dedicated to caring for local wildlife and offer a range of digital resources. Visitors to the Nature on Your Doorstep website will be able to access a range of how-to gardening guides, step-by-step ‘Wildlife Action’ videos, seasonal gardening advice, and dedicated forums to seek advice, ask questions, and share their wildlife-friendly success.

Adrian Thomas, the RSPB’s wildlife gardening expert, says: “Our local wildlife has been an incredible source of comfort over the past year of isolation and uncertainty, and we’re so thrilled to see people wanting to help nature in return.  With Nature on Your Doorstep we want to provide a place for everyone to learn from each other, ask questions, and be inspired to do more.

“Gardens can provide a crucial lifeline for struggling species – familiar birds such as the house sparrow have seen their numbers halve in the past 40 years, while 28 species of urban butterflies are down 69% in three decades. But seven-out-of-eight households in Britain have a garden, and that is a huge patchwork of potential homes for nature. To that hungry butterfly, or that weather-beaten bird looking for a place to roost, just one garden can make all the difference. If we all work together to transform our gardens, we can truly revive our world.”

“We want to empower people to give nature a home by creating an online community for them to learn and to share their experiences. We hope that by giving them the digital tools, they can then take their newfound knowledge into the garden to get their hands dirty. This is all about helping homeowners to turn their garden into havens for wildlife.”

Natalie Perry, sales and marketing director for Barratt Kent
An example of a bee house

Where it’s happening

The RSPB and Barratt Developments have been working together since 2014 to show how new homes can help nature and support wildlife. Its support has allowed the RSPB to breathe new life into wildlife-friendly gardening work through the creation of Nature on Your Doorstep.

Barratt Kent is currently building its Aylesham Village development in Aylesham and Richmond Park development in Dover, where the new homes and surrounding areas have been designed with nature in mind. A range of measures have been taken to promote biodiversity onsite, alongside installing nature-friendly features in the show home gardens including bat boxes, swift bricks and bee-friendly planting.

Prices at Aylesham Village start from £236,995 for a two-bedroom home. At Richmond Park, a range of three-bedroom homes are available, with prices starting from £295,995.

The company is also building Chilmington Green in Ashford, where a range of measures have been taken to promote biodiversity onsite, including creating green spaces and ponds. All the houses in the latest phase have been sold.

Meanwhile, the company’s Barratt David Wilson Kent brand has been busy at its Dickens Gate development at Staplehurst where its nature-friendly measures imitate those at Aylesham and Dover. Currently available at Dickens Gate is a range of three- and four-bedroom homes, with prices starting from £359,995 for a three-bedroom semi-detached home. Similar efforts are being made at its Perry Court project in Faversham where currently available is a selection of three- and four-bedroom homes, with prices starting from £415,995.

To find out more about Barratt Kent, Aylesham Village, Richmond Park or find out about the next release at Chilmington visit www.barratthomes.co.uk or call 0333 355 8502 (for the first two) and 0333 355 8498 (the latter).

For further details about David Wilson Kent or the new homes at Dickens Gate, visit www.dwh.co.uk or call 0333 3558 503. For Chilmington Green the number is 0333 355 8498.

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David Buckley

Dave Buckley is a career journalist. “I once went painting girders for a week and discovered I didn’t like heights,” he says. “Apart from that it has always been journalism for me in one form or another.” Past local weekly publications he has worked for include: the South-East London Mercury* covering the Borough of Greenwich as a junior reporter; Orpington-based News Shopper as a sub-editor; and the Kent Messenger when based in Larkfield, Maidstone, as deputy chief sub-editor. He has also worked for the following dailies/nationals: Daily Express, Today*, News of the World* and Hong Kong Star*. All those marked with an asterisk no longer exist (trend emerging?). He owned and edited a Thailand-based property magazine before returning to England and currently works as a production editor on a car fleet magazine. His first foray into property ownership saw him move from London to Rainham (the Gillingham, Kent, variety). He has subsequently lived in Chislehurst, Petts Wood and Orpington in the Borough of Bromley (which he still regards as being in Kent). In more recent years he owned three different properties on the Kings Hill (West Malling) development.

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