green fingers lead to a greener future

A County Durham landlord is helping children at local schools get hands-on experience of looking after plants, animals and the environment.

The environmental team at believe housing has donated several purpose-built habitats to schools and communities across the county, which will act as havens for local wildlife.

The wildlife pods – called NatureArks – have been constructed at Oakley Cross Primary School, Bishop Auckland, and Seascape Primary School in Peterlee.

The NatureArks provide shelter for small mammals, hedgehogs and amphibians, as well as providing a rich eco-system of plants that will attract bees and other pollinating insects. These have also been installed at Brandon Primary School, Brandon and St John’s Hall in Meadowfield.

Alongside the NatureArks, BioCube habitats have been installed at believe housing’s Coast House and Country House offices and at Park Avenue Close in Crook. Future BioCubes are planned for Castle Close, Stanhope, Eden Grove in West Auckland and Proudfoot Drive, Bishop Auckland.

Andrea Baxter, Environmental Manager at believe housing, said: “One of believe housing’s environmental objectives is to support the community with these kinds of initiatives and projects to improve their neighbourhoods.

“By donating these habitats to schools and communities in our area, we can help young people understand the importance of looking after the local environment and help them get involved.”

This project is part of a number of commitments to the environment that believe housing has made, including becoming the first housing association to achieve the Carbon Neutral International Standard and the first to take part in the UN’s Climate Neutral Now initiative.

The company has also electrified 10 per cent of its van fleet, launched a project to retrofit hundreds of homes to make them greener, and is investigating how to decarbonise all 18,000 of its customers’ properties.