Developer's award for helping protect great crested newts in Daventry

A developer has been recognised for its work to safeguard threatened species.
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Bellway has received the Gold Supporter Award in recognition of its conservation work with NatureSpace Partnership to safeguard great crested newts at developments including one in Daventry.

Bellway has joined forces with NatureSpace to ensure this threatened species is identified during the planning process and can be relocated to a new off-site habitat if needed.

The award recognises Bellway’s commitment to the partnership at developments across three developments during 2021. One of these developments was Staverton Lodge, in Staverton Road, Daventry, where construction work is about to start. The others were in Milton Keynes and in Cholsey, Oxfordshire.

Robert James, Project Director for Bellway, receiving the Gold Supporter Award from Dr Tom Tew, CEO of NatureSpace Partnership, at a compensation site in OxfordshireRobert James, Project Director for Bellway, receiving the Gold Supporter Award from Dr Tom Tew, CEO of NatureSpace Partnership, at a compensation site in Oxfordshire
Robert James, Project Director for Bellway, receiving the Gold Supporter Award from Dr Tom Tew, CEO of NatureSpace Partnership, at a compensation site in Oxfordshire

Bellway and NatureSpace Partnership have since continued their relationship, working together on a variety of major planning applications. In 2021 through these projects Bellway committed £137,643 towards great crested newt conservation.

Project director for Bellway Robert James was invited to a conservation site in Oxfordshire to receive the award from NatureSpace and the Newt Conservation Partnership.

Robert said: “As a responsible developer building thousands of homes each year, Bellway is firmly committed to sustainability. Protecting great crested newts is crucial to our aim of enhancing biodiversity.

“Working with NatureSpace Partnership gives us access to detailed analysis of great crested newt habitats long before we begin work on a new development. The level of insight they can provide plays a major role in reducing the risk of disturbing newts.

“Our collaborative work means we can be sure where we may find newts, we can mitigate appropriately and become authorised to work under a licence more quickly.

“One real point of difference with NatureSpace is the scale of its conservation activity, which creates and manages new habitats for great crested newts away from the development site.”

NatureSpace has created the first long-term strategy of its kind in the UK for great crested newt conservation. In partnership with the Amphibian and Reptile Conversation Trust, Freshwater Habitats Trust, and the Newt Conservation Partnership, it has invested more than £3.5 million in projects across its operating area.

NatureSpace has so far made 595ha of habitats available and created or restored 172 ponds across 41 local authority operating areas, with another 19 local planning authorities joining by the end of this year.

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