Hartford Homes lays roots for 5,240 tree urban micro wood in Douglas

Tuesday 6th December 2022 |

Hartford Homes is preparing to begin planting a new micro wood near their Farmhill Grange development in Douglas.


The project will build upon the company’s commitment to supporting the Island’s community and environment, whilst furthering Hartford’s aims to move beyond net zero and achieve biodiversity net gains across all future developments.


Earlier this year, the developer identified an area of sloping land with potential for ecological improvement situated between an existing road and stream, and close to Farmhill Grange, their development of modern housing on the outskirts of Douglas.


Permission was granted by Douglas Borough Council to transform the area into an ‘urban micro wood’, which are densely planted areas which feature a wide variety of tree and plant life. These small plantations grow rapidly, helping to capture carbon during growth and creating increasingly biodiverse habitats for wildlife to thrive in urban environments.


Working closely with Manx Wildlife Trust, who have provided recommendations on viable tree species and best planting practices, Hartford Homes will commence the planting of over 5,240 saplings in early 2023.


George Li, architect at Hartford Homes, has been one of the driving forces behind the developer’s urban micro wood and forest projects. He explained:


“Following on from our micro forest at Royal Park in Ramsey, the micro wood close to Farmhill Grange illustrates a possible model that paves the way for the future better use of ‘leftover’ urban spaces.


“There are many ecological benefits of this project, from assisting with carbon sequestration to providing much-needed habitats and biodiversity net gains. But it will also help to reduce the maintenance burden of Douglas Borough Council and ratepayers, who currently have to foot the bill for the upkeep of low ecological value amenity grass.


“The thriving micro wood will be the result of a close working partnership between Douglas Borough Council, Manx Wildlife Trust, and Hartford Homes. It is a prime demonstration of what can be achieved when both private and public sectors work together to accelerate the mitigation of climate change.”


Councillor Andrew Bentley, Chairman of Douglas Borough Council’s Regeneration & Community Committee, said:


“Given the scale of the environmental challenges we face, including climate change and biodiversity loss, it is crucial all parts of society play a part in sustainability projects. The development of the urban micro wood is one such venture aimed at protecting and enhancing our natural environment.


“We are delighted to be working in partnership with Hartford Homes in creating a micro wood, which can also improve the health and wellbeing of society by connecting people with the natural environment and look forward to the saplings being planted early next year.”


Dr Michelle Haywood MHK, Member for Environment with the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture (DEFA), said:


“DEFA and UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man believe that it is important to make space for nature and everyone should have access to rich green spaces within walking distance from home. The Miyawaki method of microforest planting creates rapid, dense, growth on small plots, with native species, and is ideal for urban areas, providing multiple benefits to the environment and local population. In committing to create new urban woodlands, Hartford Homes is making a strong statement to its customers, industry partners and to the public.”


Hartford Homes are proud members of Biosphere Isle of Man and have committed to balancing the needs of the environment and the needs of people in all their activities.

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