Saturday, January 22, 2022

Innovative horticultural products set to boost UK biodiversity efforts

The UK’s first ever range of self-contained, integrated eco-systems and associated products have launched to help boost biodiversity and conservation across the country.

The range of landmark habitats has been created by BioScapes®, a new business under the Rolawn Group, one of the country’s longest established and leading suppliers of topsoil and turf in a bid to become a leading voice in finding solutions for the challenges facing biodiversity in the UK and around the world.

BioScapes® has launched with two different products within the range, the BioCube® and NatureArk®. The products will help to directly offset the negative impact of biodiversity loss, such as by consequence of the construction of housing developments and commercial property.

With fifty years’ worth of experience in innovation in the field and the help of expert ecologists to call on, BioScapes® has conducted extensive research and made significant investments over the course of four years to produce this range of products that responds to new targets set by Government within the Environment Bill from the 2019 Spring Statement.

The Chancellor indicated it will be mandatory that new English planning developments will be required to demonstrate a 10% increase in biodiversity on or near development sites and deliver a ‘Biodiversity Net Gain’ with the legislation set to officially come into effect in 2023.

Globally, investors have committed £3.6bn to nature restoration and conservation as part of the 30by30 initiative, which aims to protect 30% of the planet’s land and water by 2030.

The BioScapes® products are suitable for installation in both commercial and residential environments such as, private gardens, new housing developments, local authority projects, roof gardens, commercial sites, retail parks, orchards and general landscaping schemes.

The BioCube® provides a combination of wet and dry habitats, supporting process of rewilding through the development of ecosystems which encourage small mammals, amphibians, insects, invertebrate and plants to thrive.

It has been launched alongside the NatureArk®, which delivers a similar suite of benefits, and has been specifically developed for implementation in smaller community environments, such as schools, as well as commercial construction projects. The BioCube® is priced at £2,950 and the NatureArk® at £399.95 and have already been successfully implemented by Believe Housing Association, Durham, major housebuilders Persimmon and Taylor Wimpey, as well as six primary schools in Yorkshire and northeast England.

Terry Smithson, biodiversity manager and expert ecologist at BioScapes®, said: “Biodiversity is vital to our future and is the fundamental contributor to processes such as pollinating our food, providing clean water and filtering the air we breathe. We upset these systems at our peril.

“The loss of woodland cover, and the destruction of peatlands and saltmarshes could render our homes and businesses more vulnerable to flooding.

“But no matter how much space you have, you can always make space for wildlife, and the BioCube® provides the perfect solution in this respect by creating a self-contained area, which can be used in a range of environments, and that will support wildlife.

“We recognise that developers, architects, business owners and other key decision makers acknowledge the importance of biodiversity, but that many struggle to implement a practical solution – and particularly this is what has led to the creation of the BioScapes® products.”

BioScapes® chairman and managing director, Paul Dawson added: “There is no doubt that the natural habitats of the planet are under threat like never before, which makes it more important than ever to educate our stakeholders and the public on the importance of biodiversity and making a positive impact.”

“We believe that this innovation will offer housing developers, property planners, builders’ merchants and others a simple, self-contained solution to make a tangible, positive impact on biodiversity, the likes of which we’ve not seen before.”

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