Buglife's Living Roofs for Wildlife project will create six ‘living roofs’ for rare bugs and birds in some of London’s most densely populated areas.
'Green roofs' - as they are known - have been around for several decades. Traditionally they have been created for aesthetic effect, using turf or sedum matting. But in recent years people have begun to see the potential of green roofs as a home for wildlife. They could have an important role to play in providing new habitat for the animals made homeless by the development of brownfield sites. To differentiate from the traditional sedum style roofs, roofs for wildlife are known as 'brown roofs' or 'living roofs'. More research is needed, to get a better idea of which bugs will colonise living roofs, what types of flower are needed to attract them and what is the best substrate to use. That is what this new Buglife project will seek to answer, in collaboration with Dusty Gedge of green roof experts livingroofs.org
Living roofs are seen as a vital step towards reversing the decline of urban wildlife caused by the ongoing loss of habitats such as brownfield land and gardens. Species that are likely to benefit include the endangered Brown-banded carder bee and the Black redstart.
|Brown-banded carder bee (Bombus humilis) © Buglife|
The three-year project is funded through SITA Trust’s Enriching Nature Programme and will install living roofs on buildings including Lewisham Town Hall, the Abbey Hive community centre in Camden, DuFour House residential building in Soho, Transport for London headquarters in St James Park, 222 Upper Street in Islington and the University of East London (Stratford). Each roof will include wildflower meadows, sandy areas and shingle in order to recreate the habitats used by threatened species. The living roofs are being specially designed by wildlife charity Buglife and leading green roof experts LivingRoofs.
|Laban Dance Centre roof, London © Livingroofs.org|
For more information on Living Roofs please follow these links
The Grass Roof Company