a somewhat occasional blog

Barclays Green Roof – Highest green roof in the UK

As part of tweehive and Pestival do a few blog updates that I have been meaning to do for a while. I’ll be heading up to the South Bank soon but here is a little about the highest green roof in the UK. great story – Dr. Kadas was presenting her samples at Green Canary Day from her study of green roofs and invertebrate biodiversity, when the head of enviroment at Barclays came along. Dr. Kadas’ research was part funded by canary wharf group. they have a lot of sedum roofs on the estate. it had always been our hope to get a more diverse green roof retrofitted onto one of the corporate buildings. When the gentleman ask how Barclays could help with the research the answer was of course ‘…shove one on top of your new building…’ And so they did!

The roof was designed to be a combination of the sedum green roof type and the wildflower brown roof type. it has several circles of shingle with a mix of crushed brick and concrete substrate surrounding the shingle. These areas were seeded with a mix of annuals and wildflowers. Down the centre a strip of sedum blanket was installed.

The roof is at about 160m in the air. We were surprised by the number of times people ask us how are the bugs, spiders and beetles going to get up there! Fly! [Beetles/Bees] Balloon [Spiders. and they did! There is also quite a healthy population of grasshoppers happily chirruping away. I have seen around 6 species of bees and a number of solitary wasps and I am sure Dr. kadas told me she identified the rare Wasp eating Spider. The roof has been there now for 4 years. it is difficult to get to visit these days so haven’t got any recent pictures. However a journalist Julia Gregory and a photographer Joe Lord from East London Advertiser contacted me a couple of weeks ago. They had visited the roof and taken a few pictures for an article for the newspaper. it would appear that a number of the wildflowers are doing well on the roof including Viper’s Bugloss [picture of this species kindly given permission to use by Joe Lord ] providing a high rise nectar source right in the heart of London.

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