News & Style   >   Local schoolchildren create a buzz at new homes development

Children from Bridgetown School in Stratford-upon-Avon flexed their green fingers this week to build a luxury bug hotel at our Fernleigh Park development in Long Marston.

10 students, aged between 6 and 11, took part in the educational initiative designed to encourage biodiversity in the development’s specially created sensory garden by designing and building a new habitat for insects, bugs and invertebrates.

The sensory garden includes ‘mindful messages’ benches set amidst a specially designed tranquil garden setting. Located beside the marketing suite, it has been landscaped to feature an abundance of olfactory herbs, shrubs and flowers selected to attract pollinators and ignite the senses.

Sarah Wheeler, from local outdoor learning provider Forest School Rocks, ran the session to help educate local children on the importance of creating and protecting wildlife habitats in their own gardens at home. She commented that the children worked hard to create a haven for wildlife in the garden, which will remain as a permanent fixture so that visitors can safely enjoy observing the creatures using it.

“Our mini conservationists did a fantastic job creating the bug hotel at Fernleigh Park and loved getting their hands dirty to make it an attractive and welcoming home for wildlife of all kinds – from ladybirds and spiders to woodlice and other minibeasts.

“Alongside the bug hotel we’ve ensured that there are plenty of ‘highways’ into it – these are covered routes for wildlife to safely access this new habitat which will hopefully provide a place to shelter, lay eggs, raise young and seek refuge from predators.

“It was a fun and engaging activity for the children to enjoy while learning about how to create new habitats in their own gardens.”

We are currently building 246 two-, three-, four-, and five-bedroom homes at Fernleigh Park, Long Marston – the first phase in a wider 400-home scheme. This will see the regeneration of the old Airfield site into a new village community with amenities including a community hub and cycle paths linking it to the popular Stratford Greenway route.  

Fernleigh Park also complements its semi-rural Warwickshire location and features an expansive 52 acres of green space and outdoor amenities – nearly half the total site - including wildlife ponds, play parks, sport pitches, allotments and a community orchard alongside of the sensory garden already in place. 

Encouraging biodiversity was a key consideration for the design of the overall development. Over 50 different tree species are set to feature on site, including native, flowering and berry bearing species to provide structure and improve biodiversity. Many of the trees and plants have been specifically chosen as pollinators to support insects, bolstered by incorporating different grassland and wildflower meadows to the wider scheme.

The sensory garden and bug hotel are part of a host of initiatives taking place at Fernleigh Park, and throughout our business, to support our recently launched Sustainability Strategy, which will see each of our regional teams play a significant role to deliver a more environmentally responsible future.

Biodiversity forms part of our sustainability roadmap, which includes the research and roll-out of tangible ways that we can decarbonise our operations and achieve our targets of building homes that are operationally net zero carbon from 2030. We are also aiming to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Scottish Government’s 2045 target and ahead of UK Government’s 2050 target. 

Neil Simpson, Sales and Marketing Director for our Midlands team, said it was a joy to welcome local children onto the development to make their mark on the sensory garden.

“We are really passionate about making this new community a welcoming home not just for people, but for wildlife too. Young people are the future so it’s important to offer opportunities like this where they can learn about protecting our planet while having fun and enjoying the outdoors.

“This garden is just one of many green spaces incorporated into Fernleigh Park which has been carefully designed to encourage biodiversity, protect existing habitats and create new ones. The bug hotel is an essential part of that vision and we’re grateful to Sarah and the children for making such a fabulous bug hotel.”

Visit our Fernleigh Park for more information. 

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