Developers have been ordered to do more to protect Britain’s wildlife, Communities Secretary James Brokenshire has announced.
For the first time the government has set out its expectations on how developers can protect specific species, including using ‘hedgehog highways’ and hollow swift bricks – which are installed into the walls of new build homes, allowing the birds to nest safely. This follows public interest for protecting these much-loved animals, with one petition receiving support from over half a million people.
From submitting proposals to councils to then building new homes, house builders should think about the long-term impact of their developments on the local ecosystem, both during and after construction.
This includes greater emphasis on using innovative ways to allow nature to thrive – such as drainage areas to create attractive wetlands for birds and amphibians to live alongside people.
Mr Brokenshire said: “Building the new homes this country needs must not come at the detriment of our natural heritage. It’s right that as we deliver houses for people, we must also provide homes for wildlife too – whether that’s for hedgehogs, frogs, newts or birds.
“The public have told us that protecting wildlife is important to them – so my message to house builders is to harness this support and get building in a way that protects the environment for the next generation.”
The Communities Secretary has also called for developers to plant more trees and green meadows.