Barratt David Wilson North Thames and RSPB

Kingsbrook, near Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, has become an exemplar of how wildlife and new housing can safely co-exist – and its success is down to an innovative and unique partnership between Barratt David Wilson Homes, the UK’s largest housebuilder, and the RSPB, Europe’s largest conservation charity.

The two organisations worked together to draw up a masterplan for Kingsbrook, which includes 2,450 homes, three new schools, and healthcare, community and commercial spaces, all set on 306 hectares of former farmland. Careful planning and the sharing of expertise have created a development dedicated to RSPB’s ethos of ‘giving nature a home’ – and wildlife surveys conducted before construction began and after the first 600 homes were completed clearly show improvements in bird and insect number, including an incredible 3,941% increase in breeding sparrows, which were on the Red List for conservation concern, a 65% increase in Amber List reed buntings and a 96% increase in starlings. Kingsbrook, built by Barratt David Wilson North Thames, is a different kind of development – with sustainable homes and green transport options surrounded by extensive wildlife-friendly green space that makes up 60% of the overall area, including a 250-acre nature reserve, allotments, a community orchard, sustainable drainage system that supports biodiversity, ponds, parks, meadows, tree-lined avenues and wildlife corridors. To encourage residents to continue the good work, the organisations have joined forces to produce a Garden Guide for every home and an online resource for the nation, Nature on Your Doorstep, protecting wildlife for the future as well.