Members of the Green Roof Organization (GRO) have teamed up to place green roofs on 20 play structures on the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, which has a mission to encourage people, after spending a year mostly indoors, to reconnect with the incredible wildlife around them. This summer, the leading plant institute and UNESCO World Heritage Site is delighted to invite visitors on a trip around the Secret world of plants, supported by Starling Bank.
At the heart of the festival are six ‘plantscapes’ – large-scale, immersive biomes that represent contrasting landscapes found all over the UK but rarely experienced in such vivid detail. Any landscape – sand dune; heather; swamp and meadow; hedge; forest; and urban – is inspired by the UK’s priority habitats in the Biodiversity Action Plan, an internationally recognized program targeting endangered species and habitats.
Visitors are invited to literally immerse themselves in these monumental landscapes through playful head-holes, and take a new, unique look at these incredible, biodiverse and endangered British landscapes, designed by the Seattle-based artist Vaughn Bell.
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, is passionate about increasing the public understanding of plants and the important role they play in human life. With more than 350 scientists and work in more than 100 countries, RBG Kew is at the forefront of discovering and describing new plant species, researching their uses, estimating their risk of extinction, and preserving them for future generations.
Plants are our livelihood – they provide us with food, materials, medicines and more – and RBG Kew has one of the largest and most important collections in the world.
The 20 colorful structures contribute to the ‘plantscapes’ and include various pitched, sedum and wildflower, biodiverse, edible and peat roofs that allow children to discover that roofs of all sizes can live and encourage more greenery in urban settings .
Through RBG Kew’s initial contact with GRO member Bauder, the project was led by Mike Cottage of The Urban Greening Company with materials generously supplied by Bauder, Harrowden Turf, Sempergreen and Optigrun. Representatives from GRO member organizations then came together, including Radmat, Pritchard & Pritchard, Eco Green Roofs, The Urban Greening Company and Bridgman & Bridgman to install the green roofs for three days.
GRO is pleased to welcome RBG Kew as an associate member of the organization.
Photo credits: GRO
~ Chris Bridgman
Chris Bridgman is currently the vice-president of GRO – the Green Roof Organization – Trade Association for the UK and led the development of the UK Green Roof Installation and Maintenance Qualification, working with partners in the roof and green roof sector and supported by Lantra and BALI (British Association of Landscape Industries). Chris is also the founder of World Green Roof Day (# WGRD2021) which takes place annually on the 6th June – get involved!
Bridgman & Bridgman LLP is one of the UK’s leading green roof installation companies, installing and servicing live roofs since 2009. The portfolio includes the UK’s first fully removable green roof, Europe’s largest sod roof and projects in challenging conditions such as the Outer Hebrides, a chain of islands off the west coast of mainland Scotland. The specialist team also installed the green roof and roof gardens of the IKEA Greenwich store – IKEA’s greenest store ever, which was accredited as BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ and winner of the UK Roofing Awards – Green Roofing Category 2020.
Please contact Chris [email protected] or visit www.gardensinthesky.co.uk.