Grand Designs Live

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From the 4th – 12th May 2019, London ExCeL will play host to Grand Designs Live; bringing the height of home and design innovation to London for the 14th year running.

Whether you are starting out on your first renovation, building a new home, redecorating a room, installing a new kitchen or simply looking for ideas, Grand Designs Live is the must-visit event for anyone wanting to learn about the world of interiors, design and self-build. Proudly sponsored by Anglian Home Improvements, the show will boast a range of new features, along with all the usual favourites, as design guru and TV broadcaster, Kevin McCloud leads the event.

In line with its eco-ethos, Grands Design Live will work with returning Charity partner for 2019, Friends of The Earth, launching a brand-new movement the ‘Green Finger Campaign’. The Green Finger Campaign will comprise of a Wildlife Forest at Grand Designs Live showing visitors how and where to create wildlife friendly environments in whatever outdoor space they have to work with, from a 7-acre plot to a 5sm balcony. Visitors will be invited to pinpoint where they live, producing a visual finger print heat map of where people are supporting the cause; they can then receive information on the state of nature where they are, and the best actions they can take for their local environment. They can then also take wildflower seeds away with them to plant and create their own wildlife friendly environment.

Visitors can collect a packet of Cornflower seeds to sow in their garden, supplied by British Wildflower Meadow Seeds (a trading name of Habitat Aid Ltd.). The cornflower, Centaurea Cyanus, was once widespread across the UK. It’s now hard to find because of changes in land management. Historically considered a weed in the cornfields where it grew, it’s the French equivalent of the remembrance poppy. Cornflowers are useful plants for pollinators, like the honeybee.

Also within the Wildlife Forest visitors can find out more about wildlife homes, with different examples of habitat provided the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB); alongside information on the type of wildlife they attract, advice as to where they should be installed, and where they can be purchased or how they can be made.

Visitors can also take part in the Wildlife Myths Quiz, as Friends of the Earth challenge people to see if they can tell animal fact from fiction. In the last 40 years world-wide animal populations have declined by more than a 50%* but most of us still underestimate the number of species under threat, including UK wildlife. Over 130,000 people have played the quiz so far, and it continues to spread the word and raise awareness.

Friends of The Earth will also provide workshops and demonstrations throughout the show, including a panel discussion centring on the idea of ‘Making Space for Nature’ at the Grand Theatre. The Design & Build Forum will also host five live talks and demonstrations. On Sunday 12 May Friends of the Earth will take over the stage to help visitors learn more about how they can create a wildlife friendly environment at home, including ‘How to Create a Wildlife Hotel’.

Emi Murphy, nature campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said: “We’re campaigning for a future with more space for nature in our daily lives. Having more nature will be good for our health, will help Britain’s struggling wildlife and will form a key element in the battle to prevent runaway climate change.

“The design of our homes, workplaces, streets and more can play a big part in making more space for nature. We’re delighted to be partnering with Grand Designs Live to showcase how innovative design can be good for people, nature and planet”

Grand Designs Live, working alongside ExCeL, will also continue to turn the tide on plastic pollution through the reduction of single-use plastic at the show. The show has prohibited the sale of plastic bottles from all in-show catering points along with the distribution of plastic straws. Plastic cutlery and show goody bags have been replaced with biodegradable alternatives. Visitors to the show will be encouraged to use refillable bottles and water points at the show’s cafes, provided by Amsterdam based foundation, Join the Pipe. Committed to reducing the amount of plastic waste and promoting drinking tap water, Join the Pipe supply water stations for public places and sell reusable bottles to both individuals and companies. Through the sale of the Refill Stations and water bottles, Join the Pipe finance Clean Water Projects and City Clean-Ups in developing countries, minimising plastic pollution at the source and giving communities access to clean drinking water and sanitation.

Friends of The Earth have also collected some clever ideas and tips to avoid using household plastics help reduce plastic waste around the home here.

For more information about Grand Designs Live please visit the website.