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Green fields

Biodiversity and nature

Enabling the recovery of nature

Our homes and developments are part of a much bigger picture – the landscape we share with the natural world.

Biodiversity is being lost at an alarming rate. We’re committed to ensuring that our developments will deliver a net gain in biodiversity. They will be places where both people and nature thrive.

New developments

We’re introducing new development standards based on the Building with Nature framework. This is part of our commitment to create developments that make a positive difference to the local environment.

The framework puts high-quality green infrastructure at the heart of placemaking. It has six core standards, based on:

  • Optimising multifunctionality and connectivity
  • Positively responding to the climate emergency
  • Maximising environmental net gains
  • Championing a context-driven approach
  • Creating distinctive places
  • Securing effective place-keeping

There are also standards covering wellbeing, water, and wildlife, based on:

  • Bringing nature closer to people
  • Supporting equitable and inclusive places
  • Delivering climate resilient water management
  • Bringing water closer to people
  • Delivering wildlife enhancement
  • Underpinning nature’s recovery

Existing homes and residents

We work with residents to make green spaces more wildlife-friendly, increasing biodiversity, through simple steps such as installing bird boxes and feeders, and planting trees and wild flowers. Through our charitable foundation Clarion Futures we support projects aimed at increasing appreciation for nature and the environment.

In partnership with the Backyard Nature campaign we’re supporting community programmes bringing young people closer to nature. One example of this is the Backyard Nature Green Youth Board. This launched in 2021. It’s challenging the social housing sector to improve its approach to green spaces. It will also give small grants to local environmental community projects.

Cain Green, Clarion resident

“The environment has always been a huge passion of mine and so when the chance to join the Green Youth Board came up, it was a no brainer. It’s been a fantastic opportunity to develop new skills, as well as help make positive changes to my local community that will improve people’s connection to nature and help boost wellbeing. I’m really proud of what we’ve achieved and look forward to seeing what happens next.”

Cain Green, Green Youth Board member

Connecting with nature

In 2022/23, we supported 551 young people to undertake green research in our communities. Our Green Peer Researchers mapped local community spaces and came up with project ideas to enhance those places.

  • 549 total hours volunteered by researchers
  • 114,175 m2 was surveyed as part of Green Peer Research
  • 1,979 direct & 25,646 indirect beneficiaries

Homes for wildlife

The needs of local wildlife are a key part of our regeneration of the Barne Barton estate in Plymouth. The scheme’s green infrastructure has been recognised with a Building with Nature Design Award. The new development will include areas set aside for wildlife, new trees, and the creation of a green pathway.

It’ll also feature:

  • 70 bird boxes to provide homes for swifts
  • 21 boxes for songbirds
  • 9 tubes for bats to live in
  • Hedgehog highways between allotments and private gardens

“I like doing all of it. I like planting some beans. It makes me feel happy. I love the trees because they’re growing so well and everyone will be happy when they see them. The spiders and ants will be happy too.”

Mayzie, one of our young residents involved in our outdoor projects.

Making a difference

Find more detailed information in our Making a difference report.
Read our report