In 2017 Aylesbury District Council, Barratt Developments and the RSPB got together to agree and plan an environmentally/wildlife friendly development. According to Barratt this has proved to be a win-win; wildlife benefits, and customers benefit.
Some of the features built into the development were; hedgehog highways, bat boxes and house martin cups on houses, swift boxes built into homes, permeable paving, 60% green space excluding gardens, cycle routes and footpaths through these spaces, wildflower meadows, verges and orchards, plus many other features.
EPICH has now picked up these ideas and presented them to HPC, DBC, Bellways and Millers, the latter two being Hurworth developers. There has been a good response from all, even though the Bellway development is well underway. Hopefully the Miller development will be able to incorporate most, if not all, of the original Barratt scheme. For more details click here.
EPICH has also initiated a further project to immediately benefit swifts in the parish. Swifts are in grave danger, their numbers having reduced nationally over the last few years by 47%. There were once a lot of swifts in and around Hurworth, now hardly any. Perhaps two in 2018.
To try and combat this trend EPICH has negotiated a deal with the RSPB whereby we are able to sell swift boxes at half price, £30 reduced to £15. Fifteen boxes are now available, more can be obtained. All that is needed is a north/east facing wall and the ability to mount the box at least 5m high with clear access. Swifts can travel at 111.6 km/h, spend 97% of their lives in the air, even mating, and create little or no residual mess because of this. Swifts return about March. More detail can be found here.
Both the linked articles were taken by kind permission from the RSPB Nature’s Home magazine.