Southern Housing Group has partnered with the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology and Bracknell Forest Council to ensure that what we plant in the Mount Pleasant estate is indigenous and insect friendly.
The partnership has also enabled us to manage our land as best we can for the benefit of our residents. Despite COVID-19 and social distancing impacting work there, the team have been able to move the project forward.
Our Mount Pleasant estate in Bracknell was chosen as a test area after being surveyed, receiving good engagement from residents and our partners on the project suggesting how we could best change our land management to encourage more wildlife there. The project is set to last 18 months and is part of our sustainability agenda. Recommendations for the area have included a wild meadow, an area for wild flower planting, a dead wood pile, planting of native shrubs and bird boxes.
Over the last two weeks, Senior Caretaker John Vince and his team with some help from our London Gardeners have made good progress by preparing and seeding two large areas; one for a wild meadow and another that has been sewn with yellow rattle. In addition bird boxes and a deadwood pile have also been installed at the estate.
This week John and his team will be planting some native species hedges and we will be ordering a few hundred plug plants that residents will help us install (social distancing permitting). The next big piece of this project, is to develop a website that will contain the toolkit that residents, staff and other agencies can use. We will post some more pictures of Mount Pleasant as the project develops and we see some growth.
We spoke with Sustainability Manager, Patryk Szczerba: “This is a great opportunity to learn from experts in the field of biodiversity to learn how to maximise the use of our land. In working with experts in the filed it gives us an opportunity to assess what we are planting and ensure that we are being mindful and positively contributing to the ecosystem.
Mount Pleasant is hopefully the first of many projects like this and we’ll look to revisit it in the future to ensure that we have done the best for the animals and insects that inhabit the area.”