Local housebuilder's £10,000 environmental project boosts interest in birds, beed, butterflies, bats and bugs

7th September 2015

Buyers of new homes to be built in the Downend area of Bristol will be invited to join their Mangotsfield neighbours in supporting a £10,000 environmental community project which has been embraced by local people of all ages.

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The Wildwood Natural Neighbours programme launched last year, encouraging residents to explore the local natural world from a fresh perspective.

South Gloucestershire housebuilder Cotswold Homes Ltd, which has sold all the new homes built on its Wildwood development in Mangotsfield’s Blackhorse Road, has announced plans for an exclusively private development of just nine new homes on a site only a mile away, off York Close in Downend.

Terri Hayes-Pugh, who heads Cotswold Homes’ sales and marketing team, hopes that people who buy the houses at Badminton Chase, as the new scheme is called, will help maintain the momentum of the Wildwood Natural Neighbours programme launched last year, encouraging residents to explore the local natural world from a fresh perspective.

Initiated by South Gloucestershire Council and sponsored by Cotswold Homes, Wildwood Natural Neighbours is spearheaded by Penney Ellis, a 43-year-old South African artist based at the Pound Arts Centre in Corsham, Wiltshire. She has generated huge interest and participation in a variety of activities among more than 100 local residents of all ages.

Now she hopes that more will join in from the Downend area.

Events to date have ranged from a field study of the wide diversity of local bird life, led by local naturalist and BBC Springwatch presenter Ed Drewitt, to a photographic safari led by local wildlife photographer Iain Green. He helped would-be wildlife snappers learn how to explore plants, animals, birds, bees, butterflies and bugs and capture them through a lens.

Ready for a close-up: young photographer Patrick Vickers (14) snaps insect life during a Wildwood Natural Neighbours expedition