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A unique spa and leisure complex for Silverlake

Silverlake, Dorset has exciting plans for the development of a truly unique spa and leisure destination. The new facilities will offer visitors an innovative and eco-friendly outdoor destination spa, the first of its kind in the UK.

Silverlake is already renowned for its outstanding relationship with sustainability and ecology and by creating a spa that is nestled into the surrounding landscape, visitors will be able to absorb the positive benefits of the natural world.  

The spa will have both an indoor and outdoor pool, with sixteen lakeside treatment rooms and four lakeside cabanas. Situated in a prime position on the waterside of one of the Estate’s many lakes, visitors will be able to go ‘wild’ swimming and have access to water sports equipment, Kneipp walks, relaxation hubs, a floating fire pit and hydrothermal experiences.

The Firefly restaurant will sit lakeside and will include an open plan kitchen, bar, shop, events space and terrace with views across the water and plenty of areas to savour the surrounding landscapes and tranquillity of the spa.

This new spa promises to be an incredible addition to Silverlake, providing a haven for residents and guests alike, as well as a rejuvenating experience for day visitors to enjoy. To find out more, click on the link below and sign up to the mailing list to ensure you are the first to hear about updates and upcoming launches.

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Conservation concern for House Martins and Swifts

House Martins and Swifts have just become Red-listed birds of conservation concern. Tragically, numbers have declined so dramatically that they are now of the highest conservation priority, with both species requiring urgent action.

In 2005, at our Cotswold Estate, Lower Mill Estate, we put up 60 artificial nesting boxes for House martins. In the following years, these were regularly used and the numbers across the Estate boomed as House martins built nests on the new houses in Clearwater and Howells Mere.

At our peak about three years ago we had nearly 250 nests which were thought by the British Trust for Ornithology to be the largest House martin population in the UK. Over the last two years, we have seen the number of House martins decline as they have struggled to get to the UK, following big storms in the Mediterranean.

We are keeping everything crossed that the numbers will increase and to support this, we are encouraging residents to leave natural nests on their houses all year, and we are creating areas of mud where the birds can collect nest-building material. It takes three days for House martins to repair a nest ready for the next summer, and three weeks to build a new one. A lot of work after a long journey from Africa.

On both sites, we have swift towers which are designed to attract nesting swifts and we are hopeful that they will be used soon. All new properties are being fitted with a swift brick or swift box to encourage these beautiful birds to nest once they find us.

For more information on what we do or if you are a resident who would like to know how to help, please contact us at sustainability@habitatfirstgroup.com.

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Conservation without Borders

Recently we had the pleasure of welcoming Sacha Dench*, a renowned and passionate conservationist, to Silverlake, Dorset, for a conversation with our Chief Ecologist, Dr Phoebe Carter, about Habitat First Group’s unique conservation work. With many accolades to her name, including Ambassador for the UN’s Convention on Migratory Species and the ‘Human Swan’, Sacha passionately raises awareness about the climate crisis we are currently facing. Sacha joined us on her historic Round Britain Climate Challenge as she circumnavigated the British Coastline in an electric paramotor, landing to talk to some of Britain’s most inspiring individuals, communities and businesses ahead of COP26.

Chatting candidly with Sacha, Phoebe shares the unique and fascinating vision that Habitat First Group’s founder, Jeremy Paxton, had for creating a diverse culture, where people live cohesively with nature; something that his children Red, Ruby and Rory continue today.

As the conversation continues, Phoebe shares how Silverlake has evolved from a disused quarry into an area of flourishing habitats. From tall grasses, dense wetlands, swathes of heathland, and never-ending wild hedgerows, Silverlake is a welcoming home to over 146 different species of migrating birds including, Nightjars, Sand martins, Swifts and Swallows, and a huge range of other wonderful wildlife.

In conclusion, Phoebe shares how Silverlake is leading the way – showing that nature shouldn’t be considered an inconvenience by developers, but should be actively welcomed. Bringing nature into the estate as a key focus enriches our residents’ and guests’ experiences and boosts their well-being and the nature-based solutions that are incorporated into the Estate benefit the climate and wildlife too.

Phoebe and Sacha’s message is both poignant and clear. By working more collaboratively with nature, we can respond to the critical condition of the ecological emergency which is so intrinsically linked with the climate crisis. By working together, we can start to make the much-needed change for a better future.

To view Sacha and Phoebe’s conversation in full, click here.

*A month after this conversation, Sacha was injured in an accident whilst in the last stages of the Round Britain Climate Challenge. We wish Sacha all the best in her continued recovery.