I recently completed a scheme for a new development in Dudley near Birmingham. The scheme had to be designed within planning parameters, and in consultation with Wildlife experts. Balancing using species that will appeal to new home owners, that are low maintenance, and yet tick the wildlife boxes is really challenging.
I can’t bring myself to include in my planting plans Elder – Sambucus nigra, and woodbine – Lonicera periclymenum, even if it is on a required list. I used Sambucus ‘Black Beauty’ which still has single flowers – critical for pollinators. Lonicera squeezed into narrow planting beds will get very messy, especially in communal areas where maintenance may not be a priority. I so much prefer the Boston Ivy - Parthenocissus tricuspidata, which is self clinging, beautiful autumn colour and much lower maintenance, so a few of these have snuck in.