Greener Neighbourhoods - this exciting project began in 2011 and was aimed at encouraging residents to make use of their gardens to grow their own food. We began by including gardening tips with the help of one of our residents who wrote a gardening column in Rural Connections, our Residents' Newsletter. We have also provide free seeds for tenants to grow. We have also made available upon request, free hot composters to residents.
New homes are designed to encourage the growing of food by providing hot composters, fruit trees and fruit bushes in private gardens. We also, wherever possible include open spaces on our developments which can be used for community activities.
To date we have provided a Nature Reserve which is used to host a number of activities each year for school children and local residents. We have help with the maintenance of the Nature Reserve from Wiltshire Wildlife and a group of Wiltshire Young Carers.
We provided a traditional Wild Flower Meadow which provides a very pleasant landscape that quickly became a haven for bees, butterflies and other insects, as well as small animals.
This will require little maintenance other than cutting once a year.
Grazing with sheep is also a possibility!
In the coming year we intend to expand this project by offering residents the opportunity of free soft fruit bushes for their gardens, and will also be consulting residents on ways to improve the landscaped areas on their developments.
Codford residents obtained some free flower seeds for the wildlife area from the "Grow Wild" project for communities.
They planted them on a sunny day with the children of Cherry Orchard and everyone has their fingers crossed that they will grow!
Non Human Residents
We also cater for non human residents by providing bird boxes on some of our schemes.
The relationship between human activity and nature is not always harmonious. We aim to protect and encourage wildlife and biodiversity across our operations and help our residents to do the same.
On our new developments we have a good track record for encouraging wildlife. We also have a sympathetic approach in our existing stock as well.
We delay external painting contracts to accommodate bats who have taken up residence in one of our lofts. We also have several resident house martins whose homes take precedence over painting contracts, all with the support of their host 'landlords'.
We encourage our residents to engage bee keepers to remove bees nests and over the years a number of swarms have been successfully re-homed.