A GWENT housing development has been praised for its innovative measures to protect wildlife.

Redrow’s Mill Meadows development at Sudbrook is made up of 212 two, three and four bedroom homes.

It is located on the former 100-acre site of a papermill that was home to three species of bats as well as slowworms and next to the Severn Estuary, an important area for wintering birds.

It was highly commended in the Biodiversity Legacy category of the annual BIG Biodiversity Challenge awards 2021 run by CIRIA, the independent Construction Industry Research and Information Association.

This recognises long-term commitment to improving biodiversity on development sites.
The commendation particularly recognised the work that was done in advance by Redrow and its sustainability consultants, Arcadis, especially the bat house which has led to one species breeding at the location for the first time.

The bespoke bat house was designed with various types
of “rooms” to accommodate the various species - and it received its own planning permission.
Ongoing monitoring has confirmed that all three species of bats are using the building as a roost and for hibernation.

There is now also a maternity roost home to 15 adult lesser horseshoe bats, three with pups, which only ever used to pass through the location and never settled or bred.

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The bats are also supported by the surrounding habitat, designed to
provide foraging areas including cattle grazed pasture, hedgerows and scrub.
Technical manager for Redrow, Reuben Cooke said: "We all live better with nature around us, and creating communities that balance nature and
development is not just possible, but essential."