Things are starting to ‘buzz’ on Station Hill!
As part of the wider ecology and sustainability drive, Station Hill is delighted to have partnered with Alvéole to host beehives on the development.
Alvéole, a company that brings bees to buildings, organisations and schools across the UK, Europe and North America, will be introducing its unique beekeeping integration and management to Station Hill. This will bring the broader environmental benefits of bees to Reading, such as attracting additional pollinating insects and improving plant health which in turn provides habitats for other wildlife and produce ultra-local urban honey and beeswax products.
The first two beehives will be located on the green sedum roofs in Phase 1 of Station Hill, which consists of 598 build-to-rent (BtR) apartments and is due to complete by the end of 2023. People living at Station Hill and members of the Reading community will have the unique opportunity to learn about the bees and hive management and take part in hands-on workshops, with the resulting products, from honey and beeswax candles to lip balm and soaps.
Whilst Alvéole has been operating in Europe since 2018, Station Hill will be one of its first projects since launching in the UK earlier this year, underlining the development’s market-leading and innovative approach to regional regeneration.
Furthermore, Alvéole will also be advising on the right mix of bee-friendly plants to grow within the wider public spaces within Station Hill to create an ecosystem that will support the hives as well as solitary bees. Across the estate, c.£50 million is being invested in social infrastructure, landscaping, improved pedestrian accessibility and a central two-acre piazza for the public to enjoy.
Lee Fearnhead, Director of Construction at Lincoln Property Company UK, said: “From the start of our journey at Station Hill, we have strived to set high standards regarding the ecological and sustainable development approach, not just in terms of the design, construction and operation of the buildings, but by positively contributing to the existing Reading community. Introducing beehives to the development is just the latest step we plan to take. Urban bee keeping is considered essential for the health of our national bee population, with hives located in towns and cities producing healthier and more productive bees with greater access to biodiversity, resulting in a more varied diet and stronger immune systems.
“Alvéole’s approach is unique, and we hope that these first two hives on site are just the start of this partnership. We look forward to involving the community in further initiatives as the development takes shape and working with local people to raise awareness of the important role bees play in the eco-system.”
Étienne Lapierre, Co-founder at Alvéole, said: “We’re so proud to have Station Hill as one of our first UK clients. Their sustainability goals are perfectly in sync with our own mission, which is to drive positive environmental change through education and awareness of how we can all contribute to the conservation of bee populations. By making people fall in love with bees, we aim to build ecological awareness, and in time, more sustainable cities and food systems. Throughout our 10 years of experience, we have engaged with tens of thousands of people who now have a better understanding of pollinators, biodiversity, and nature as a whole.”
Station Hill is a market-leading 2.5 million square foot mixed-use development in Reading, which is being brought forward by Lincoln MGT, a joint-venture between Lincoln Property Company and MGT Investment Management. Station Hill, once complete, will set a new benchmark for sustainable development in the UK by creating the highest levels of energy efficiency throughout the development, which will achieve a net zero carbon footprint.