Estate agents could be asked to emphasise green features at local properties under council plans to promote natural environment

The Story Garden was built on a former car park. Photograph: Julia Gregory

Estate agents could be asked to champion green features at local properties under council plans to promote the natural environment.

It is one of the recommendations from Camden’s green space and biodiversity adviser Cllr Nina de Ayala Parker.

She said estate agents could be asked to “emphasise green features of properties in their marketing and possibly create a green rating system to encourage green considerations in house evaluations”.

Cllr de Ayala Parker said homes are important habitats and added: “We have also seen some of our green spaces turned into grey through residents’ paving over green front gardens and driveways with plastic grass, and concrete slabs.

“We must promote the beauty of nature and the benefits of having greenery in your home.”

Residents could be helped to de-pave their drives and front gardens and the cost could be subsidised by Camden through the climate investment bond, Cllr de Ayala Parker suggested.

She called for the council to “radically rethink how we prioritise animal welfare, which can be done by regreening the grey”.

Residents could be asked their views on the use of  pesticides that are potentially harmful to bees.

Cllr de Ayala Parker suggested the consultation to make people think about ways to protect wildlife.

She said the council should review its use of pesticides in parks, open spaces and estates.

She added: “While Camden does have a robust, and restrictive, controlled usage of such toxic pesticides as glysophate, it is submitted that such usage could be harmful to vulnerable species in Camden such as bees.”

The pesticide is used as a weedkiller but tests by University of Constanz scientists showed it damaged wild bumblebees’ ability to control the temperature of their colonies when they are running out of food because it has been destroyed.

She added: “Equally, many Camden officers have raised concerns about the usage of the pesticide by Camden residents themselves in their own private gardens.”

She also wants to ensure green spaces on council estates are accessible to people with disabilities.

Other proposals include a Community Green Deal for Camden, making it easier for residents to find out about resources and ways to take action such as creating community gardens, pocket parks and rain gardens.

It follows the climate citizens’ assembly which helped create a five-year action plan in 2019 and a  Camden Climate Talking Circle after last year’s international climate conference COP27.

Other steps could include helping residents to get involved in community gardening.

The report and its recommendations to cabinet will be discussed at the culture and environment scrutiny committee on 15 March.

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