The cause for biodiversity received a major boost this month as the World Green Roof Congress hit London attended by delegates from as far afield as Australia, Canada and Northern Europe. Opened by Dusty Gedge, President of The European Federation of Green Roof Association, the congress brought together architects, suppliers, specifiers and town planners as well as representatives from many governing bodies worldwide.
Dusty, known as the 'Ultimate Champion' of green roofing has played a major part in promoting the concept of green roofs in urban areas and can credit himself as one of, if not the key player in persuading London to adopt a green roof policy. Private consultancy projects include the green roof on top of St. James' Tube Station and the smaller, though no less successful greening of a veranda at King Alfred's School, Golders Green. He always specifies native wild flowers and sedums, recommending in his private consultancy work, British Wild Flower Plants (BWFPs) whose specialist nursery in Norfolk grows exclusively 'native' species from seed gathered all over the UK.
"As the main, UK wild flower nursery we were one of the sponsors of the congress and used the platform to push biodiversity," says BWFPs Operations Manager Matthew Smith. "We're developing further ideas to improve wild life habitats and we found ourselves surrounded by our customers."
One such, The Grass Roof Company run by John Little ( who, incidentally installed the roof at King Alfred's School) introduced green roofs on ten year old freight containers, giving them a second life as eco friendly shelters. "All our roofs combine native wild flower plugs with a few native sedums," he said. "We then over seed with a native seed mix."
Another BWFPs customer, Lindum Turf had their Wildflower and Sedum Mat, (a mixture of wild flowers and sedums grown into re-cycled felt) on display at the congress. The product's ability to be rolled out like a carpet - it is much lighter and more flexible than conventional turf - makes it ideal for use in green roof projects, as illustrated on the 'Tyrrells Harvest Celebration' show garden, which won a Silver Gilt medal at this year's Hampton Court Flower Show.
For further information contact BWFPs at: www.wildflowers.co.uk or tel: 01603 716615