Habitats

A large range of habitats are of either national regional or local importance for biodiversity in the UK.

The role of industry

Legislation relating to habitats and the species they support is available under the legislation and policy page. The construction industry has a positive role to play in conserving existing habitat and creating new habitats through proactive biodiversity management in both new and existing buildings. Design features can incorporate vital habitat areas within the built environment that support varied species and green infrastructure provides vital connectivity for species between habitats.

The following are examples of features of the built environment that can provide important habitats when incorporated through good design features and management of properties:

  • Living walls and roofs
  • Roosting ledges and crevices
  • Urban trees
  • Sustainable urban drainage
  • Brownfield sites
  • Waterways
  • Green infrastructure
  • Parks
  • Roadside verges

Species

The construction industry has a positive role to play in promoting the diversity of plant and animal species. Building design features can incorporate vital habitat areas within the built environment that support varied species and green infrastructure provides connectivity for species between habitats.

The following broad species groups are relevant to the construction industry when considering preservation and conservation measures on site:

  • Lower plants (eg. Mosses, lichens, liverworts and ferns)
  • Aquatic plants (native and non-native invasive)
  • Flowering plants (eg. grasses, sedges and rushes, native plants, non-native invasive plants)
  • Trees and shrubs
  • Invertebrates (aquatic, spiders, soil invertebrates, freshwater crayfish, butterflies, bees, dragonflies, molluscs)
  • Fish (salmon and trout, shad)
  • Amphibians and reptiles (great crested newts, sand lizards, toads, frogs, newts and snakes and lizards)
  • Birds (barn owls, black redstart, general UK bird reports)
  • Mammals (e.g. bats, badgers, dormice, small mammals, otter, water voles, mustelids, foxes, deer, seal hedgehogs etc.)

A useful list of species under some of these groups is available from Natural England here with corresponding advice and guidance, and the priority list.