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.