It's the latest thing - a really wild garden
Daily Telegraph - 23rd October 1999
by Jenny Knight
Badgers, dormice, even snails are
being used by builders as key selling points for new homes.
FORGET wonderful gardens, great
views and state-of-the-art conservatories; the latest must-have
for new homes is the turquoise flash of a kingfisher's wings
whizzing past your windows, or the glimpse of frolicking badger
cubs in the garden at dusk.
Wildlife and ecology are now key
selling points in the homes market. Developers no longer raze old
buildings. Tiles, lead trimmings and attractively shaped windows
are carefully dismantled by hand so that they can be reused. Nor
is heavy machinery sent in to level the ground. Instead, delicate
ecological surveys are undertaken to ensure no rare
creepy-crawlies are crushed.
The housebuilder Countryside
Properties included a newly constructed badger sett as a free
extra when it redeveloped Thorndon Approach, in the village of
Herongate, Essex. Newcomers to the village are Nick and Sandy
Dawson and their children, who moved into a four-bedroom house
there this summer.
Nick said: "Having our own
badger sett will be a real talking point. I had some doubts about
destructiveness and disease, but our three girls, who are all
under six, are so excited. They love animals. We will probably end
up feeding the badgers. The new garden is a large one, and
three-quarters of it is like forest, with the badger sett right at
Tony Carey, the chairman of St
George, said: "You have to be very hard-nosed not to get a
pleasure from working with flora and fauna. On our Kew riverside
site, our ecologist found some rare two-lipped snails. We will
protect them with a fenced area left to overgrow naturally.
"This makes us and probably
our buyers feel good, but I don't anticipate that the snails will
have a roaring effect on sales."