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Sensory Garden created to enhance wellbeing

New green space for Brighton & Hove children's services

Refurbishment project delivers biodiversity net gain through a new sensory garden and outdoor space

The transformation of a former school into office space for council staff in Portslade, Brighton and Hove provided an opportunity to make sweeping biodiversity enhancements to the outside area on site.

The biodiversity enhancements, completed in an area bordered by over 200 newly planted trees, included a sensory garden, a new pond, bat and bird boxes, hedgehog houses, bug hotels and bee bricks to encourage insects and pollinators, and a native wildflower bed to stimulate wildlife and biodiversity

The addition of the pond and bespoke grassland and scrub led to an increase in biodiversity of 39% for area habitats, and planting of a species-rich native hedgerow allowed an increase of 90% for linear habitats.

Portslade BNG project 2022.jpg

Willmott Dixon employees and customers took part in a volunteering day to help complete the works – planting hedges and installing bug hotels - while our groundworker partners donated their time and resources to help dig the pond onsite.

This project demonstrates the difference that biodiversity enhancement can make, not only to the wider environment, but also to the wellbeing of people who can access this new green space.

As well as delivering high value biodiversity net gain for our customer, this project has also shown the wellbeing benefits environmental enhancement brings for local workers and the wider community.

Charlotte Young, Project Manager at Brighton and Hove City Council, said:

“In terms of social value, Willmott Dixon created a whole sensory garden for us for free. That's been a real asset to our people to have the space because they're able to then go outside, they've got their own pond. We don't have that anywhere else.”

Graham Shaw, managing director at Willmott Dixon Interiors, said: “We’re incredibly proud of the positive impact we’ve made in the local community during the life of the project, not least in leaving the natural environment in a measurably better state.”