The journey to 100% pollinator friendly planting
We are committed to protecting and increasing biodiversity across our estate, and in 2016 we set an ambitious five-year target to increase biodiverse space by 50%.
The majority of our portfolio consists of buildings which sit on the public highway and many of our roofs are taken up with industrial plant, therefore we have had to think outside the box.
Across our portfolio we have 1,245 window boxes, 124 planters and 46 hanging baskets bringing splashes of colour to the streets. Our traditional selection of plants, such as begonias, look great from the pavement but unfortunately aren’t particularly attractive or bene cial to pollinating insects. As we add more habitat for insects, such as natural log piles or the bee hives located on our roof tops, we need to ensure that we also provide sufficient local food sources.
In 2019 we trialled 100% pollinator-friendly window boxes in Newburgh Street in Carnaby. The plants had a more natural colouring whilst also providing a critical food source. Based on the success of this trial, in 2020, all the window boxes, planters and hanging baskets have been planted with 100% pollinator-friendly species.
We have achieved our 5-year target early, with a 70% increase in biodiverse space since 2016. We will continue to look for new opportunities to bring nature to the streets of the West End.