17 Jan Pennyfarthing Homes and Milford on Sea Primary School collaborate on Bio-Diversity project at The Swifts
According to the Schools and Sustainability Research Report 2018-19*, 86% of pupils agree that all schools and colleges should be doing things to help the environment. So Pennyfarthing Homes has been delighted to be working with Milford on Sea Primary School on a project to educate the pupils on whether The Swifts development near the school will affect the local bird population in the area.
This project aligned seamlessly with the housebuilder’s soft landscaping and ecology enhancement plan which is centred around ensuring biodiversity in the bird population with a variety of other conservation measures being incorporated to benefit the wider biodiversity.
A group of pupils from years three and four made suggestions to compliment the housebuilders plans which resulted in Pennyfarthing Homes providing additional bird boxes and extensive native planting such as the hedgerow and wildflower field margin to the Public Open Space.
Other measures which came out of the collaboration include creating a reptile corridor between the school boundary and The Swifts and a new reptile hibernaculum. The landscaping of the public open space will provide foraging habitat for hedgehogs and better nectar sources for invertebrates and therefore birds as well. Pennyfarthing will create “hedgehog highways”, holes in the fencing gravel boards from garden to garden. With ten swift boxes, five new dormouse nesting boxes and a swale feature to attract insects and increase the feeding opportunity for bats and birds, all sorts of wildlife will be encouraged.
Matt Dukes, Managing Director of Pennyfarthing Homes commented: “Pennyfarthing Homes is committed to its ecological obligations so our collaboration with Milford on Sea Primary School was a fantastic opportunity. We put a lot of thought into landscaping and biodiversity and interestingly, the children’s ideas closely aligned with Pennyfarthing’s Soft Landscaping and Ecology Enhancement Plan. When the pupils explored the question of how the development might affect local wildlife and landscaping, we were really pleased their findings showed that with 42 new gardens and allotments replacing the single habitat, the number and types of flora and fauna could increase. With the nesting boxes, feeders and other measures, there would likely be a positive impact and improvements to the biodiversity. The school has created a “Construction Team” which now attend weekly briefing meetings and undertake regular site tours and report back to the rest of the school, so the collaboration is continuing really well.”
Pennyfarthing Homes was the first developer to create a Suitable Alternative Natural Green Space (SANG land) in the New Forest which formed a large part of the company’s ecological obligations for its Alexandra Meadows scheme which benefited both new residents and the existing community. The housebuilder has continued to expand its efforts, exploring ways in which it can provide more areas of mixed-use outdoor space to enhance the surrounding ecology at every development, The Swifts being no exception.
Kate Crawford, Headteacher at Milford on Sea Primary School commented: “Sustainability is an important part of the curriculum. We are committed to environmental learning and the year three and four children have been thinking about how to support biodiversity in the bird population in and around our school. Being able to work with Pennyfarthing Homes and having The Swifts on the doorstep as a focus for the project has been really exciting for the children. To see some of their ideas and suggestions being incorporated into the development has been really rewarding for them. Keith Metcalf from the Milford Conservation Society helped us explore the project further and with the ongoing collaboration through the School’s “Construction Team” the pupils can watch and monitor the project and are learning about and helping hands on, to shape future local biodiversity.”
The Swifts is a bespoke development of 42 new homes in a much sought after area just a 20 minute walk to the stunning beaches. The development includes three and four bedroom semi-detached and detached new homes plus two bedroom Starter Homes, exclusively available to first time buyers living in the New Forest. Register your interest early for The Swifts by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01590 615411.