Members of the Green Roof Organisation (GRO) have worked together to install green roofs on 20 play structures at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, which is on a mission to encourage people, after a year spent largely indoors, to reconnect with the incredible nature that surrounds them. This summer, the leading plant institute and UNESCO World Heritage site is delighted to invite visitors on a journey to uncover the Secret World of Plants, supported by Starling Bank.
At the heart of the festival are six ‘plantscapes’ – large-scale, immersive biomes representing contrasting landscapes found across the UK, but rarely experienced in such vivid detail. Each landscape – sand dune; moorland; marsh and meadow; hedgerow; woodland; and urban – is inspired by the UK’s priority habitats in the Biodiversity Action Plan: an internationally recognised programme addressing threatened species and habitats.
Visitors are invited to literally place themselves within these monumental landscapes via playful head-holes, and get a new, unique glimpse into these incredible, biodiverse and threatened UK landscapes designed by Seattle-based artist Vaughn Bell.
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is passionate about increasing public understanding of plants and the important role they play in human life. With over 350 scientists and work spanning over 100 countries, RBG Kew is leading the way in discovering and describing new plant species, researching their uses, assessing their risk of extinction, and conserving them for future generations.
Plants are our life support – they provide us with food, materials, medicine, and more – and RBG Kew has one of the largest and most important collections in the world.
Contributing to the ‘plantscapes,’ the 20 colourful structures include several pitched, sedum and wildflower, biodiverse, edible and turf roofs that enable children to discover that rooftops of any size can be living and encourage more greening in urban environments.
Through initial contact from RBG Kew 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 organisations then came together, including Radmat, Pritchard & Pritchard, Eco Green Roofs, The Urban Greening Company, and Bridgman & Bridgman to install the green roofs over three days.
GRO are delighted to welcome RBG Kew as an associate member to the organisation.
We at GRO and our partners hope you join us for the second World Green Roof Day 2021 this 6th June by posting photos, videos, and commentary to celebrate green roofs from across the world using social media and #WGRD2021!
Photo credits: GRO
~ Chris Bridgman
Chris Bridgman is currently the Vice-Chair of GRO – the Green Roof Organisation – Trade Body for the UK and led on developing the UK qualification for the installation and maintenance of green roofs, working with partners in the roofing and green roofing sectors 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.
Bridgman & Bridgman LLP is one of the UK’s leading green roof installation companies, installing and maintaining living roofs since 2009. The portfolio includes the UK’s first fully removable green roof, Europe’s largest turf roof and projects in challenging conditions, such as the Outer Hebrides, an island chain off the west coast of mainland Scotland. The specialist team also installed the green roof and roof gardens on the IKEA Greenwich store – IKEA’s greenest ever store, which was accredited BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ and winner of the UK Roofing Awards – Green Roofing Category 2020.