Housebuilder teams up with animal charity for wildlife campaign

CALA Homes (East) and the Scottish SPCA have teamed up on a campaign to encourage residents to connect with local wildlife.

The campaign, titled ‘Take a Walk on the Wild Side,’ will see residents at Cala’s Kingfisher Park development in Balerno and Castle Bay in Dunbar provided with educational packs to help them explore and learn more about wildlife in their area.

Functioning as part of the Scottish SPCA’s wider ‘Animal Wise’ educational initiatives, it is hoped the campaign will be rolled out across more Cala sites in the east of Scotland as part of the developer’s sustainability strategy.

Animal Wise challenges people to become ‘wise’ about animals in Scotland, increasing their knowledge to reduce accidental injury and neglect and safeguard animal welfare.

Over 200 households across both developments will be taking part in the campaign, with residents at coastal Castle Bay in Dunbar receiving tailored seaside wildlife packs and residents at inland Kingfisher Park in Balerno receiving woodland packs.

Residents will also receive wildflower seed packets from ‘Seeds of Hope’, a Scottish enterprise focused on boosting biodiversity and supporting mental health, to plant in their gardens.

The initiative is part of a longer-standing partnership between Cala and the Scottish SPCA, which began in 2020 to help the animal charity deliver a series of virtual fundraising campaigns during the pandemic.

Activities supported by the partnership so far have included the Step for Pets challenge, which saw participants walk 10,000 steps every day for a month and Pound for Paws with Olympian Laura Muir.

So far, the series of virtual events has raised £113,000.

Natasha MacKinnon, head of fundraising at the Scottish SPCA, said, “The ‘Take a Walk on the Wild Side’ campaign is part of our Animal Wise educational initiative that is being rolled out across Scotland and is another great show of support from Cala, expressing its commitment to helping us protect Scotland’s precious wildlife.

“The more people that are aware of how to care for their local wildlife the better – so Cala’s aim to help us in spreading that message at a grassroots community level via our joint information packs is invaluable. In 2020 alone, our inspectors and animal rescue officers responded to nearly 78,000 reports of animals requiring urgent help. Our National Wildlife Rescue Centre rehabilitated and released 3,375 injured and orphaned wild animals too.”

Philip Hogg, sales and marketing director at Cala Homes (East), added, “We are delighted to be working with the Scottish SPCA on such an exciting project that will benefit residents and local eco-systems in equal measures. This initiative aligns with our direction as a business to enhance biodiversity in and around our new developments, in line with our overarching sustainability strategy.

“The delivery of high-quality greenspace is already a priority for Cala and is proven to bring physical and mental health benefits to our customers and local communities. We know we can do more and by the end of 2022, our goal is to have formulated a strategy and action plan to enhance biodiversity across all of our sites.”