London's Swifts The Bio-Diverse Building

Turning ordinary buildings into wildlife havens

The Built Environment -  a dry stony desert, with cliffs and mountain slopes and flash floods too!

The "Built Environment" is a tough place for wildlife. Skyscrapers, office blocks, stone and brick facades, tarmac and concrete pavements, patios and roads, harbours and wharves, what wildlife can cope with them? The answer is that they end up attracting the wildlife that lives in such places, dry, hard, and windswept environments not unlike some deserts, wind and rain-lashed coasts, cliffs and mountains, with extremes of climate, hot and dry, wet and cold.



Attractive, beneficial birds that specialise in coastal, rocky or mountain habitats, and can do well in the built environment are Peregrine Falcons, some sea-gulls, Black Redstarts, Wagtails, House Martins, House Sparrows and of course Swifts too!

It just needs a little thought and effort to transform a building into a place they can inhabit.

Minor modifications that can turn a lifeless site into a wildlife oasis

Above, this plant room wall on top of an office block in London's West End houses nine Schwegler "bat tubes" for Pipistrelles and two Schwegler open-fronted nestboxes for Wagtails or Black Redstarts. These species are present in this area; it is hoped these facilities will encourage them to breed and roost over winter too.   Photo Edward Mayer

Above, details of the Open Fronted Nestbox and below, the Bat Tubes, set into the walls. Similar boxes are available for housing bees and other useful insects.
Schwegler gmbh

Left: Simple and cheap. Adding small pools to "green" roofs provides a vital source of drinking and bathing rainwater for birds, mud for nest building, as well as supporting a bigger range of invertebrate life, and so more food for small birds and bats.
Photos Edward Mayer


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