Biodiversity in any area is hugely important and as such minimising the impact upon this in our practises goes a long way to creating a long term sustainable scheme for both the local ecology as well as the people living amongst it.
To this end we aim to complete projects with solutions that will help the biodiversity of an area and enable a working harmony between the surrounding wildlife and built environment. It is widely expected that a completed development will now produce a ‘net gain’ in the ecology of the site, which is something we continually strive to achieve by incorporating innovative fresh products and working alongside specific ecological advisors.
One example of how we have done this in a recent development is to incorporate ‘Bee Bricks’ into our open market homes.
Conceived and developed by a local Cornish artisan start-up company Green & Blue, the bee brick and its associated products aim to provide an unexpected nesting site for solitary bees, who are responsible for pollinating a third of all the food we eat. The bricks have the same dimensions as a conventional building brick meaning they can be built directly into a structure, and have specially created cavities at the front which offer a cosy space for the bees to lay their eggs.
Sadly, the solitary bee is now in great decline and some species are at risk of becoming endangered in the UK. The three main types of solitary bees in the UK are the Red Mason, Leaf Cutter and Wool Carder, all of which benefit from the bricks by offering a safe and attractive nesting space to lay their eggs – something not normally associated with today’s build environments, which normally cause a habitat loss for these creatures. As these bees are solitary they do not have a queen or honey to protect and so are non-aggressive meaning they are safe around children and pets.
The bricks are made in Cornwall using up to 70% recycled material from the Cornish china clay industry, so are not only locally designed and manufactured, but also use locally source materials that would otherwise be wasted.
It is our aim to incorporate these bricks into the construction of all our future open market homes and create not only a home for our purchasers but also our friendly local pollinators.