In this edition of Friday Film, British green roof expert Dusty Gedge takes us on a tour of this 12 year old green roof designed to replicate the brownfield sites of London. The roof is awash in colors of many wildflowers and is full of a variety of insects. Dusty narrates this visit and highlights the various plants while offering insight into green roof design and plant selection.
- Bees buzzing at city haven:: “A wildflower haven created earlier this year beside one of the city’s main roads is proving to be a blooming success for bees.”
- Richard Mabey: in defence of nature writing:: “Not since John Clare lambasted Keats for metropolitan sentimentality has there been such an unwarranted attack on the integrity of nature writers.”
- Urban Habitat Project at the Central Terminal:: “We can take urban spaces, make them beautiful, and at the same time help with stormwater runoff, protect pollinators and other valuable urban wildlife.”
- New Orleans already taking steps to use rainwater to help residents, the environment and the city, officials say:: “New Orleans already is taking steps to adopt or implement sustainable strategies to deal with the city’s surplus stormwater, including developing rainwater storage areas on abandoned lots and developing new zoning regulations…”
- Living Roof Research Blossoms At Melbourne University:: “The Biodiversity Roof is designed as a garden requiring minimal human intervention, with the aim to provide a protected space for experimentation with Australian native plants as urban habitat that encourages colonisation and supports biodiversity.”
- Nature and the City:: “If we are ever to reach the stage where we can value the benefits as ecosystem services, or design therapeutic landscapes, we need to understand what the benefits are and how they operate.”
- A Wilder Way:: Dutch designer, Piet Oudolf, who is responsible for the planting design of the High Line in New York City, is the subject of this interesting profile.
- Urban Rivers of Life:: “There are few natural features as important as rivers and streams in defining cities, in shaping sense of place, and in connecting us with nature.”
- First Person: Letting a Backyard Go Wild:: James Barilla, author of the new book ”My Backyard Jungle,” writes about his backyard on National Geographic.
- How Ecologists Are Using Surveys to Support Urban Green Roof Architecture:: “With all the knowledge, experience and conviction of how important living architecture and green infrastructure is, why is integrated ecological design for green buildings not a fundamental standard to how we do things?”
- Leicester’s urban meadow created ‘to attract more bees’:: “Wildflowers are to be planted around a triangle of empty land in Leicester to try to attract more bees to the area.”
- Get Ready to Get Funky!:: The Funk Nests challenge from Celebrate Urban Birds is now running for a couple more weeks.
- Experimental Landscapes: Alexander Felson on Ecology and Design:: A very interesting interview with ”Alexander Felson, an assistant professor at Yale in both the School of Foresty & Environmental Studies and the School of Architecture, is a different kind of urban ecologist. In his research and his design work, he calls for an ecological practice that moves from analyzing nature to shaping it, embedding scientific experiments into the design process.”
- Get off my lawn: Song sparrows escalate territorial threats – with video:: Ever wonder what Song Sparrows are saying? A new study finds that “This is one of the most complicated communication systems outside of human language”.
- Why Study Urban Wildlife?:: “ How can we predict which species will thrive? How can we reduce conflicts with nuisance species? Can urban areas serve as refugia for rare and imperiled animals? These are all fairly new questions, and big unknowns attract scientists like statues attract pigeons.”
- Botanising on asphalt -– weeds, memory and an empty patch on the street corner:: “The postwar era carried a reconstruction and modernisation ethos with it, but the cities and towns could not be remade overnight, that process took many decades. And during the interim such sites remained as unused derelict land, co-opted as playgrounds, informal storage, advertising hordings and the empire of weeds.”
- Bringing natural life into buildings:: Eco-architect Dr Ken Yeang’s attempts to introduce more nature into architecture are highlighted in this article. “Many buildings have been ‘de-natured’. Human beings have simplified and fragmented nature.”
- Loft ambitions: why green roofs are the future of urban gardening:: This article from The Ecologist discusses the many benefits of green roofs.
- Do Wildlife Corridors Really Work?:: From the Smithsonian blog is a discussion about whether corridors actually work and a new crowd-sourcing project to find the answer.
- Citizen scientists vital for wildlife data collection:: A great article about how scientists rely heavily on their volunteer data collectors and how important citizen science is.
- Gardens: sharp practices to encourage hedgehogs:: One more reason to encourage hedgehogs into European gardens, they are excellent for pest control.
- Biodiversity project maps urban ants:: An in-depth article about the School of Ants program and what it hopes to achieve.
Today’s Friday Film features an inside look at the New Wild Garden from the 2011 Chelsea RHS Flower Show designed by Nigel Dunnett filmed by Dusty Gedge. The garden features a great many elements for wildlife including a stone wall for habitat with built-in insect shelters as well as an insect wall for solitary bees and other insects on the shelter. The shelter is constructed out of a reused shipping container by Green Roof Shelters and includes a green roof designed for biodiversity. Also part of the design is a beautiful rain garden which captures overflow water from the green roof on the shelter and a wild planting area for pollinators.
From the Vimeo description::
The centre piece of the Chelsea RHS Flower show silver gilt New Wild Garden designed by Nigel Dunnett. The new Green Roof Shelters Home Office for shedworking or just as a summerhouse combines elegant design with a range of features designed for biodiversity. A good depth green roof provides wildflower diversity for foraging bumblebees and a designed habitat wall/bee hotel provides nesting for solitary and mining bees.