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Local homebuilder signs Homes for Nature commitment to support wildlife

THE HOMES for Nature commitment, a major new initiative to support wildlife from the Future Homes Hub, has been signed by local housebuilder Persimmon Homes.

The commitment will see a bird-nesting brick or box, commonly known as a swift brick, installed in every new home as well as hedgehog highways created as standard on all new developments taken through the planning system from September 2024.

Persimmon Homes has signed the commitment along with 19 other homebuilders who collectively build over 90,000 homes each year. It is estimated that 300,000 nesting bricks or boxes are required to support swift populations and other bird species across the country. The Homes for Nature commitment has been welcomed by organisations such as Action for Swifts and the RSPB as a major step forward towards this goal.

Fran Leedham, Group Sustainability Director at Persimmon Homes said: “At Persimmon, we’re fully committed to building high quality sustainable homes and in sustainable communities.

“We’re delighted to be one of the first homebuilders to sign the Homes for Nature commitment and believe this will make a really positive difference in helping to provide much needed support for endangered species and wildlife, as part of our broader nature and biodiversity strategy.”

Becky Ingham, Chief Executive of Action for Swifts, added: “For centuries swifts have shared our buildings and homes by nesting in the nooks and crannnies of old style buildings. In recent years the loss of nesting sites has had a major detrimental effect on this Red-Listed species.

“It’s heartening to now see the commitment from so many major developers towards installing integral bricks, which will last the lifetime of the building and provide our Swifts and other cavity nesting birds with long-term habitat.”

As part of the commitment, homebuilders are also encouraged to incorporate additional features such as bat roosts and, insect bricks, pollinator friendly landscaping and hibernacula in line with ecological advice.

The commitment will also help drive a major increase in the delivery of nature positive measures on developments and complement the recent Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) regulations which requires all new housing developments to deliver a 10 per cent increase in biodiversity.

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