Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Making A Home For Nature

A new initiative has been launched to protect and support wildlife in the built surroundings of South Cambridgeshire.

In a move to help more villages go green, South Cambridgeshire District Council is making energy efficiency improvements to a number of properties within its housing stock, making them some of the most environmentally friendly in the country.

The improvements are aimed at helping tenants reduce energy bills and play their part in tackling climate change by retrofitting energy efficient technologies such as exterior wall insulation.

The loss of wall cracks and crevices can, however, create a problem for wildlife. There are certain species that rely heavily on buildings for survival, especially in built up areas, such as bats and birds.

To combat this, the Council is installing locally designed and built bird and bat boxes. These offer an unobtrusive way to create safe, warm and sustainable nesting sites in existing buildings. They are fitted at the same time as wall insulation and provide a separate wildlife habitat within the structure of existing walls, helping attract wildlife to the property and conserve biodiversity in our villages.

All tenants whose property is considered suitable will be contacted by the Council and asked if they would like a box fitted. There are three types of bird box available and one type of bat box.

Tenants particularly keen to receive a box are invited to contact the Council on 03450 450 500 to arrange a visit from the ecology officer.

Cllr Mark Howell, housing portfolio holder, said: “We are extremely pleased to be creating new habitats and encouraging more wildlife to our villages. With major new developments planned for the district, we want to make sure we create the very best new homes for both people and wildlife.

“Many urban birds are on the decline and it is hoped these boxes will encourage house sparrows, swifts, blue tits, great tits and bats to continue to live in the area, they add colour to our streets and play an important role in controlling pests like mosquitos.”