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Our buildings are located on Prologis Parks, which we own, manage and maintain. At every Prologis Park, we aim to provide our customers with a high quality working environment and park-wide services designed to support their business operations.
Prologis RFI DIRFT is recognised as the most successful rail freight interchange and logistics park in the UK. Located at the centre of the country, DIRFT is close to the West Coast Mainline railway and the M1 motorway. Infrastructure work has started on the third phase of the development, which has detailed planning permission for 7.9 million sq ft of logistics space and a new rail terminal.
Prologis Park West London is situated just 1.5 miles from the M4 and is strategically located to serve Heathrow airport, greater London, the Thames valley and beyond
Sustainability: Ecology & Environment
Although Prologis is known for developing sustainable industrial and logistics buildings, we had never made special provision for bees until we started to design the landscaping around the new Sainsbury’s distribution hub at DIRFT.
Bumblebees and solitary bees have different nesting behaviours and we have provided the best possible conditions possible for both. For bumblebees, which tend to nest communally both above and underground, we installed 14 nesting boxes, some of which are underground and some above ground in quiet, shady areas that are unlikely to be disturbed.
Solitary bees, as their name suggests, make individual nest cells for their larvae, using small tunnels or holes in dead wood, crumbling stone or the hollow stems of dead plants. So, for these bees, we created areas of rubble and built piles of logs, both of which offer attractive nesting sites.
At the western edge of the site, along the bund that will support the railway tracks, we have planted a continuous woodland corridor. This includes native species, such as Bird Cherry (Prunus padus), Field Maple (Acer campestre) and Crab Apple (Malus sylvestris), which provide both forage and potential nesting sites.
Across the site, we have sowed wildflower seed - with different mixes designed to suit the various ground conditions. But, in every case, the wildflowers have been chosen to provide the best possible forage for the bees. During the summer, the area around the new distribution hub is a riot of colour with flowers such as Cowslip (Primula veris), Red Campion (Silene dioica) and Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria), Wild Red Clover (Trifolium pratense) and Meadow Buttercup (Ranunculus acris).
Needless to say, an environment that attracts bees, also encourages biodiversity more generally. To take just one example, the Crab Apple trees on the bund will attract the bees in the spring with their blossom. Later in the year, birds – particularly robins, starlings, greenfinches and thrushes – will feed on the fruit, while all year round, the trees could potentially be a home for over 90 species of insects – including the bees.
This has proved to be a fascinating project and although the Sainsbury’s distribution hub at DIRFT is our first encounter with bees, it probably will not be the last.
Simon is a member of our in-house Project Management team and our UK Sustainability Officer.