As we construct new buildings or extend our existing buildings, we reduce the amount of natural habitat for wildlife, and this is only likely to worsen as demand for human habitation increases. We need to address how to retain or better still improve biodiversity before wildlife is made homeless in our cities – swifts for example are now on the national red list of conservation concern due to loss of habitat. Local and especially native wildlife is an important part of our ecosystem as well as adding to our wellbeing.
It is relatively straightforward to provide low maintenance accommodation for native local wildlife in the form of ponds, bee bricks, boxes for bats and birds, insect hotels or a hedgehog home but it is important that this is coupled with providing them with sources of their natural food. Until recently, my near neighbours had several beehives on the roof of their four-story house! We might add a wildflower roof or living wall to the design of our home and plant in our garden species of flowers, herbs or fruit trees which will support the creatures for whom we have provided homes. If we can attract insects to our homes and gardens this will encourage an increase in the population of the birds that feed on them.