Making space for Wildlife | Our Stories | Prologis UK

At Prologis we want to build long-lasting relationships with the communities close to our network of over 22 Prologis Park and this commitment extends to protecting and enhancing the environment for local wildlife. That’s why, across our developments, we work with ecology consultants, local wildlife groups and landscape consultants to enhance biodiversity. Here are just a few examples of some of the projects we have undertaken.

A living landscape at Prologis RFI DIRFT

Alongside the development of 7.9 million square foot of logistics space and a new rail freight terminal, the third phase of Prologis RFI DIRFT will include a 193 acre nature reserve known as Lilbourne Meadows. From an early stage, we worked closely with specialists at Natural England, the Environment Agency (EA) and The Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire Wildlife Trust to plan the nature reserve and design the different types of habitat needed to bring long-term benefits to the wildlife. The project is being funded by Prologis as part of our development at DIRFT.

When the EA asked us to create new meanders to the Clifton Brook Tributary – a watercourse that runs east to west across Lilbourne Meadows – we realised that we had a chance to create a varied wetland habitat that could include wet woodland and reed beds, pools and scrapes. Since this new habitat promises to attract a range of wetland birds, we also decided to build two bird hides for local ornithologists.

This combination of habitats has been designed to suit the protected and notable wildlife species that have been identified on and around DIRFT.

Extensive wetland habitat will be ideal for the resident curlews, while for the great crested newts we have excavated and planted specially designed ponds. DIRFT is also home to a population of bats and we constructed a purpose-built bat house to replace existing roosts across the site.

As plans developed, it was clear to us that a nature reserve of this size and complexity would need careful, long-term management. We had become corporate members of Wildlife Trust after working together in a project connected to Prologis Park Kettering and we felt that the Trust would be the best organisation to undertake the job. This collaboration with the Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire has been highly productive and the joint team has developed a living landscape that will both protect the wildlife and welcome visitors.

Already, large flocks of birds are utilizing the newly created lakes and wet grassland while rare breed sheep have been grazing the grassland pasture to help improve the habitat for wildflowers and invertebrates. Short-eared owls, little ringed plovers, curlews and wigeons are already regular visitors to the site.

Access to Lilbourne Meadows is currently limited to a public right of way at Hillmorton Lane: for further details about visiting the site visit www.wildlifebcn.org/lilbourne.

A nesting wall for sand martins close to Prologis Park Ryton

During construction of a new mail sorting hub and head office for Royal Mail at Prologis Park Ryton, we noticed that a family of sand martins migrating from South Africa had built a nest in a borrow pit contractors had dug on site. Aware that sand martins are a protected species, we created a wide exclusion zone around the borrow pit and let the birds spend a peaceful summer in their temporary home whilst we carried on building the new facility for Royal Mail.

In September, after the birds departed, we filled in the borrow pit; however, realising that Prologis Park Ryton was on the birds’ migration route, we looked for a more suitable nesting site in the local area. Fortunately, Prologis Park Ryton is close to Ryton Pools Community Park and we worked closely with the park rangers and our ecology consultant to create a purpose-built summer habitat for the sand martins.

 

Sand Martins are gregarious birds and tend to nest in large colonies in dry, sandy banks, where the build tunnels leading to individual nesting chambers. To replicate this natural habitat, we researched a nesting wall to stand beside one of the pools. The nesting wall, which is 15 metres long and 2 metres high, contains around 112 nesting compartments, all of which have entrance tunnels made form clay pipes. The compartments were constructed from timber and each has a sliding rear plywood door with inspection hatch so that the rangers can keep an eye on the nesting birds and carry out any necessary maintenance.

To help keep the nests safe from predators such as stoats and weasels, the nesting chambers have been raised above ground level and a galvanized anti-predator sill has been fixed to the wall below the tunnel entrances. To help visitors to Ryton Pools understand more about these fascinating birds, we also create and installed information boards and a viewing area on the opposite bank so people can view the birds without disturbing them.

Working for wildlife at Prologis Park West London

We recently completed the regeneration of local amenity space as part of the development of Prologis Park west London; on a site which had been vacant for over 15 years. As part of our commitment to the local area, we agreed to undertake extensive rehabilitation work both on and off site. Now complete, the ownership of Hale Field Park and the associated land parcels has been transferred to Hillingdon Council, with an ongoing contribution to its upkeep, to be enjoyed by the local community.

As part of this regeneration, over 25 bird and bat boxes and hibernacula have been positioned across the site. 750 linear metres of mixed native hedgerows have been planted, providing valuable food, shelter and nesting sites for birds.  6,800 metres squared of mixed species rich grassland was also incorporated into the scheme, greatly enhancing bio-diversity and providing enhanced green corridors around the site. Over 250 standard and feathered trees were also planted and substantial arboriculture management undertaken to existing tree stock.

Wildflower Verges at Prologis Park Wellingborough West

Wildflower verges support an amazing diversity of plant and animals. Not only do they add colour to the local environment, they also provide a valuable habitat for important pollinators, from bees to beetles and are an important food source for birds, insects and small mammals.

At Prologis Park Wellingborough West, we have created a network of wildflower verges around the site, providing a rich habitat for insects, spiders, snails, small mammals and birds. The verges are carefully managed by our landscape contractors and are left to grow and remain uncut until late summer when seeds have set and insects have benefitted from their nectar and pollen. Careful management of these verges also ensure they can provide nesting sites for birds and cover for small mammals.

Going forward, we intend to work with local schools and wildlife groups to provide bird nesting boxes, insect houses and plant fruit trees and other indigenous species on and around the Park.