Protecting and enhancing our natural capital has always been a key priority for us. As a major developer in the Thames Gateway region, we have a responsibility to create spaces that help native plant and animal species thrive. We have set clear targets on environmental net gain and see green infrastructure as an opportunity to increase climate change resilience and wellbeing on the Estate.
CWG was one of the first developers in the UK to release a Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) in 2004, and in 2018 we released our updated BAP. This 10-year strategy includes comprehensive targets and objectives to achieve net gain on our developments, and to keep our stakeholders and the local community well informed of our progress. In 2019 we completed an extensive survey of biodiversity on our Estate, and undertaken a Defra/Natural England biodiversity metric trial. The trial considered existing and proposed development as well as detailed BAP targets. The results have shown that we can achieve 12 biodiversity points by continuing to implement BAP targets, in particular with regards to retrofit. Since completing the survey, we have scheduled landscaping works to improve our existing green roofs and a detailed assessment of retrofitting non-biodiverse roofs.
We have installed bird boxes, bat boxes, insect hotels and a fish refuge to provide safe environments for wildlife within the hustle and bustle of Canary Wharf. We are now looking to extend the scope of the BAP to aquatic ecology and are working closely with London Borough of Tower Hamlets (LBTH) to develop a pioneering strategy that can be implemented across the docks.
We understand the wellbeing benefits of connecting people with nature. Every year we hold a Wildlife Photography Competition to encourage people to appreciate the vast array of wildlife at Canary Wharf. In 2019, we had 1,366 strong entries across six categories, which is an over 100% increase since 2018. The overall winner was Derek Bezuidenhout’s stunning Goldfinch Portrait, taken in the Crossrail Place Roof Garden.
Swift call boxes
One of the priority species identified in the Canary Wharf Biodiversity Action Plan are swifts, and one of our targets is to provide enhanced nesting opportunities for swifts on the Estate…
One of the priority species identified in the Canary Wharf Biodiversity Action Plan are swifts, and one of our targets is to provide enhanced nesting opportunities for swifts on the Estate. In 2019 we installed swift boxes with an accompanying swift call system to improve the chances of the boxes being used. The call system was installed using a small amplifier and speakers powered by solar panels. The calls were played a few hours a day at sunrise and sunset.