such as heavier precipitation demonstrates the importance of appropriate maintenance of such features. Wetland habitats can provide a host of biodiversity benefits, and through sensitive management ensures our SuDS function effectively and support wildlife. Working practices must be regularly reviewed to ensure that specialists operate in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner, for example using ‘mulching mowers’ to maintain grasslands. These reduce the amount of green waste requiring removal from sites, ensuring that the carbon and nutrients return to the soil. Storing logs and cuttings as ‘habitat piles’ can providing valuable shelter for wildlife while again reducing green waste and associated transportation.


Supporting native species is also a key part of an open space management specialist’s role, thereby enriching customers’ environments. From our annual residents survey we know creat- ing wildlife friendly areas is becoming more of a priority. In partnership with leading insect charity Buglife, our Bee Friendly campaign aims to help support pollinating insects vital to our food chain. 75 per cent of crop species, 35 per cent of global crop production, and up to 88 per cent of flowering plant species are dependent on insect pollinators to some extent. The initiative encompasses a range of targets, including donating and planting 1000s of metres of pollen rich hedgerow and wildflower and over 50,000 nectar producing bulbs. We’re also giving away bee hotels for customers to install in gardens along with pollinator friendly seeds. Most species of bee found in the UK are solitary, and will benefit from the provision of bee hotels. Hedgerows and bulbs provide a valuable source of nectar early in the year, and wildflower meadows provide a variety of

flowers which bees will feed on throughout the summer months. EXPERIENCE

Experienced firms will hold regular training sessions to ensure their teams are well equipped to optimise open spaces for wildlife to thrive, as well as work with residents, local commu- nity groups and schools to run educational events and initiatives such as bat walks and tree planting days. Open space management is not simply maintaining formal striped lawns, it is about managing a development’s ecosystem and features sensitively and professionally, providing, safe, welcoming open space which can be enjoyed by residents and wildlife.

Paul Cassidy is ecology and conservation manager at Meadfleet

IG Lintels brings character and thermal efficiency to Bedfordshire homes


espoke square bay lintels and the award-winning Hi-therm+ lintels from IG Lintels has ensured the character, thermal

efficiency and build quality of an exclusive range of new build homes is second to none. Surrounded by beautiful countryside, the

Market Reach development in the historic market town of Potton consists of eighty-five luxurious three, four and five bedroom homes. Developer Mulberry Homes’ philosophy is to ensure homes offer a strong character and identity whilst at the same time constructed with thermally efficient building envelopes. To achieve their fabric first approach, IG’s award- winning Hi-therm+ lintels feature across a range of plots while bespoke IG square bay lintels added character and increased natural daylight. Ben Cheetham, National Specification

Manager for IG Lintels said: “Mulberry Homes wanted to build in a way that considered the environment, taking into account the most sustainable options for the building fabric, without compromising on the interior and exterior build quality to achieve Part L SAP calculations.” IG’s BBA approved Hi-therm+ lintels provided a low-cost solution to improve energy efficiency

within SAP. Incorporating a thermal break, Hi-therm lintels are up to 5 times more thermally efficient than a traditional steel lintel. Hi-therm+ lintels were installed at window and door junctions accommodating different lengths throughout the building envelope to reduce heat loss in key problematic areas. This fabric first approach helped Mulberry Homes to lower carbon emissions and minimise running costs for the homeowner. Furthermore, ongoing maintenance repairs and improvement upgrades are not required with Hi-therm+ lintels unlike other costly bolt on renewable technologies. Shaun Aran on behalf of Mulberry Homes

said: “At Market Reach, IG’s Hi-therm+ lintels were used for reducing carbon emissions and running costs for homeowners by improving the

energy performance of our newly built homes.” To meet the developer’s aesthetic

requirements, IG’s technical team designed bespoke heavy-duty square bay lintels that increased the surface area of the ground floor wall allowing natural light to enter the homes. The square bays 4390mm span and the perpendicular returns added a window opening with three facets, creating a large and more spacious illuminated internal living space with a unique external appearance to the properties. With these stunning homes now complete,

IG’s lintel solutions have ensured this thermally efficient and aesthetically pleasing housing development delivers on all fronts.

01633 486 486


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