As well as saving carbon you can also add lots of things to your home to improve biodiversity. There are a number of benefits from this:
Carbon capture - plants remove CO2 from the atmosphere and help combat global warming
Air quality improvements - all plants remove particulate matter from the atmosphere and some of them do it better than others
Cooling - green roofs and living walls absorb solar glare and cool down the building they are attached to
Sustainable drainage - green roofs and living walls retain water and reduce urban runoff
Biodiversity - buildings take up space that was once part of nature, putting in biodiversity features helps replace this and provides new habitats
Your house is actually pretty good for biodiversity and you have been making great efforts in the garden with the variety of plants. But here are some suggestions that would be suitable for your property and an indication of there effects.
Measure and benefits
What does it look like
Carbon captured kg a year *
Energy saving kwh per year **
Green roof - improves biodiversity cools the room below and absorbs pollution
If you do add a small extension at the side to replace the lean to you could add a green roof to that.
Bat bricks and boxes - provide much needed habitat for bats
Whilst carrying out your retrofit there may be an opportunity to add bat boxes to appropriate sites on your walls
Swift boxes - 8m above ground
These might fit nicely in your eaves, other types of bird box could be added elsewhere.
Living wall - improves biodiversity cools and absorbs pollution
You could add one of these to the side of the house to brighten things up and reduce your carbon further.
There are no rows in this table
As well as the green roofs and boxes for birds there are opportunities at your property for biodiversity improvement in the garden. Consider planting for wildlife, adding pond areas, hawthorns and other native plants.
* carbon captured figures taken from CO2 Payoff of Extensive Green Roofs with Different
Vegetation Species MDPI 2018
** energy saving figures based on reduction in heating and cooling requirements due to a green roof in Living Roofs and Walls Technical Report: Supporting London Plan Policy GLA 2008