What we do

makING gREAT places for people and wildlife

The UK is set to build hundreds of thousands of new homes and enhance thousands of existing communities in the coming years. There is a growing emphasis on the need for quality place-making. Building with Nature wants to ensure that these developments will also deliver for the natural world and healthy communities, allowing people to live closer to nature. 

We provide a framework of quality standards, an assessment and accreditation service, and national awards recognising the design and delivery of high quality green infrastructure.


Building with Nature Standards

Drawing from evidence and good practice, we have defined high quality green infrastructure at each stage of the development process, from planning and design, through to long-term management and maintenance. The standards enable nature-friendly features to be integrated throughout the development.

The standards are free to use and can assist with the planning and development of new places and communities.

We have an expert Standards Board whose role is to refresh the standards and update them with changes in legislation, policy and practice.


Building with Nature Accreditation

Developers can apply to have their scheme assessed, and planners can apply to have their policy document accredited, by Building with Nature. We offer Awards at both pre- and post-construction stages, to highlight what good looks like at each stage of the green infrastructure lifecycle.  

We encourage applications from different types of development, and at various scales, however the current accreditation system is set up to assess ‘major’ or ’significant’ sites (10+ houses; 0.5 hectares or more; 1000+ square metres of floor space) and ‘strategic’ sites, such as major regeneration schemes or urban extensions, where there are likely to be greater returns for people and for nature.  

Accredited schemes which are signed off post-completion, will be invited to apply for a Building with Nature National Award. This is an opportunity to showcase development where we can see people and wildlife benefiting from well-designed, expertly implemented and sustainably managed features. 


To become a Building with Nature Assessor, or supplement your role in bringing forward new development, we have a training programme aimed at landscape architects, ecologists, SuDS engineers, public health practitioners, and other built environment professionals with a qualification from one of the professional bodies.


The Building with Nature initiative came out of a collaboration between Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust (GWT) and the University of the West of England (UWE), and was borne of a desire to have a proactive approach to nature-friendly development, sensitive to location and context, that cares about long-term maintenance and management.

It was co-developed with users and potential beneficiaries - local authorities, private sector developers and citizens – and has been tested, proved and refined in multiple locations.

Building with Nature is a values and mission-led company, wholly owned by a registered charity - the GWT. Through supporting and championing best-practice, our mission is to mainstream green infrastructure in place-making in the UK, raising the bar for industryand maximising benefits for both citizens and the natural world. 




Dr Gemma Jerome


Dr Gemma Jerome is an environmental planner with a specialism in the delivery, management and maintenance of green infrastructure. She chairs the British Standards Institute panel for the emergent Biodiversity Net Gain standard, and sits on the advisory group for the Natural England Green Infrastructure Standards Project.


Professor Peter Madden, OBE


Professor Peter Madden, OBE, is Professor of Practice in City Futures at Cardiff University, Founder Director of Ecovivid, and sits on the Board of the Crown Estate. Previously he was CEO of Future Cities Catapult, of Forum for the Future and of Green Alliance.


Clare Hebbes

Board member

Clare’s career has focussed on major projects including the redevelopment of King’s Cross, Heathrow Terminal 5 and Battersea Power Station. She now leads the Urban Realm team for Lendlease Europe covering the infrastructure, public realm and management of their spaces. She is passionate about making places work better for people in the long term.


Alex Willey

Board member

Alex is Head of Regeneration Projects at Clarion Housing Group, the country’s largest affordable housing provider. She worked as a journalist before completing a Masters in Town Planning and moving into housing, heading up the sustainability team at Affinity Sutton. She is now part of Clarion’s regeneration team delivering projects around the country from Plymouth to Ealing. Prior to joining the Building with Nature board she was a Trustee for the UK Green Building Council.


Roger Mortlock

Board member

Roger Mortlock is CEO of the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, the county’s largest environmental charity with 28,000 members and over 60 nature reserves. He joined the Trust in 2013 from the Soil Association where he was Deputy Director and Chair of the Food for Life Partnership. Previously he worked in policy, communications and fundraising roles with the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Royal College of Nursing and Community Service Volunteers. He is a Trustee of the Bat Conservation Trust , and Vice Chair of the Gloucestershire Local Nature Partnership.


Nigel Riglar

Board member

Nigel recently joined South Gloucestershire Council to lead the delivery of the Council’s place based services. In the preceding 20 years he was variously the Commissioning Director for Communities and Infrastructure at Gloucestershire County Council, including being a LNP Board member, Stroud District Council’s Deputy Chief Executive and set up the Beacon Council Scheme for the Improvement & Development Agency. Before that Nigel was a Local Agenda 21 / Environmental Management Adviser for the Local Government Management Board.


Standards Board

Alister Scott (Chair)
Northumbria University

Julia Thrift

Clare Warburton
Natural England

Nick Rogers
Taylor Wimpey

Helen Wakeham
Environment Agency

Peter Madden
Building with Nature Chair

Anna Rose
Planning Advisory Service

Jan Bessell
Pinsent Masons

Mike Roberts

Richard Blyth

Paul Barnard
Plymouth City Council

Sue Young

Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts


standards board Chair, Professor Alister Scott

Alister is a geographer, chartered planner (MRTPI) and “pracademic” who works at disciplinary and professional boundaries and edges in dealing with interdisciplinary problems. He is a Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) knowledge exchange fellow charged with improving the mainstreaming green infrastructure in the planning system.  This feeds into his core research agenda on mainstreaming nature in policy and decision making.