Homes for People and Wildlife

A report offering a vision for how people and wildlife can live in harmony.

Review of Homes for People and Wildlife

Author: The Wildlife Trusts

Reviewed by Philip Hardstone

We all need a home, somewhere to relax and do our own thing.  At the same time there is also a huge need to protect our wildlife and ecosystems. In 2018, The Wildlife Trusts produced a report - Homes for People and Wildlife.  Although some years old, we believe that the report has a huge relevance to today’s debate on Yorkshire’s future. 

Potentially its findings hit at the very heart of the way we develop our communities.  

Sadly, the facts are that more and more people have little or no contact with nature. This disconnect affects mental health, our children’s growth into adulthood, contributes to obesity, and has an impact on life expectancy. 

The Wildlife Trusts report claimed that built in the right way, in the right place, new housing developments can make a positive contribution to nature and to the health and wellbeing of people who live there.

They say that new housing should be located in areas that are already well served by infrastructure and should avoid harm to the existing environmental assets of an area.  Housing should be targeted at places where it can have a positive environmental impact to help achieve landscape restoration and recovery.  This requires an up-to-date and well-informed ecological network map, which identifies existing natural features and habitats, alongside areas where new habitats are needed to restore ecosystems and help wildlife recover.

The houses themselves should be designed to integrate space for both wildlife and people, as well as to reduce carbon emissions and minimise water usage. 

While planning regulations may have improved since the report was first published, we believe that it is time to take a more initiative-taking approach, especially when it comes to developing affordable and social housing. And what about our current downtrodden communities?  Surely to goodness it is not beyond our Yorkshire wit and ingenuity to make improvements there also.

Finally, we believe that for such schemes to work, they must be democratically controlled by the people who live there, people who have a genuine stake in the area's future, not just some wealthy property owner or distant bureaucrat.

To learn more read the report: Homes for People and Wildlife: How to build housing in a nature friendly way by The Wildlife Trusts. 

The publisher is Citizen Network Research. Review of Homes for People and Wildlife © Philip Hardstone 2022.

Review | 21.11.22

housing, Sustainability, England, Review

Philip Hardstone


Coordinator of Democratic Yorkshire

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