27 Jun 2024

We are conducting consultation with residents, local government and community groups in the hope of beginning Biodiversity projects at schemes in Belfast and Ballymena.

At a recent tenant consultation event in Ballymena, we worked alongside a number of stakeholders, including Idverde, RSPB, and USPCA, to deliver education to the younger generation on biodiversity in their own back garden and beyond. As part of this, we enjoyed the opportunity to conduct a Bioblitz (a snapshot of the variety of life found in a specific location), and we await results to discover the base levels of Biodiversity at the scheme.

In Belfast, we were recently hosted by a local sports club, as part of a stakeholder event, giving local community groups the chance to visualise how we may deliver a biodiverse shared space and discuss how they may best utilise it for the mental, physical, and educational benefits of their members.

We are working with local councils to engage in tree planting of native species at our sites, which is planned to commence when planting season rolls back around in November. This will contribute to the Belfast One Million Trees, as part of Belfast City Council's Forest of our Future initiative. Planting one million trees will bring a reduction in carbon, improvement of air quality, increased resistance to flooding and support and enhance Biodiversity, amongst many other benefits.

If you want to find out more about trees or planting trees, go to www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/plant-trees/advice

At our Lisnavar Court scheme in Derry/Londonderry the brilliant work of our scheme coordinator and enthusiastic tenants has led to some impressive results for Biodiversity gain. This is just one example of the work being done across many of our schemes. The residents of Lisnavar Court have fostered a real enthusiasm for gardening and numerous plantings have attracted all forms of wildlife such as bees and butterflies. Use of patch land (allowing residents to have their own dedicated space to garden) has allowed one green fingered tenant to grow a thriving vegetable patch consisting of lettuce, sprouts, fruits, and herbs. Furthermore, wildlife is actively encouraged, with bird feeders, tables and baths attracting a diverse range of birds to make the scheme their home or simply pay a visit. Most recently, a project to brighten up the frontage of the scheme saw tenants planting pots, hanging baskets, and making window boxes.