Green Roofs, trees and other things peculiar to Kingston upon Thames






 Daniel Raven-Ellison the founder  growing ‘Greater London National Park’ Campaign came to talk to the Kingston Biodiversity Network  on the evening of Thursday  2nd of October Kingston University.  To learn more about this bold project please click on the following link:




Tree damage
Why do we allow dogs to destroy our trees in parks and around the estates in the borough. There are remedies easily found in other areas, such as this simple tree guard employed by LB Merton council. Elsewhere this damage is viewed as illegal and residents are advised to contact the police if  seen (see notice from Haringey council below. We have lost five trees on the Cambridge Road estate this year and it is unlikely they will be replaced.


Green Roofs
No borough would benefit more from the installation of green roofs than ours. We are squeezing development into so many nooks and crannies in our tiny borough, thereby increasing the amount of land under concrete and tarmac (especially along the river and in green belt Chessington). This seriously reduces the flood storage capacity of land, to act as a sponge to soak up rainwater, as well as reducing the areas available for birds and bees.

The installation of a green roof is a method by which lost habitat can be placed on the roof. Maximising this area as habitat is a no-brainer as it is undisturbed from ourselves and our pets. Green roofs attenuate the flow of water, as well as providing many other benefits (thermo-regulation etc). Our council have issued guidance to developers on the desirability of installing them, giving an example such as the William Rous cancer unit  at Kingston Hospital here http://www.kingston.gov.uk. The only other example I know of in the borough is Coombe Boys School, Blakes Lane. Please let me know of any others.

Green roofs do not have to be sedum rolls (as at the London Wetlands Centre, Barnes). They have a variety of permutations and across London there are many examples of 'Biodiversity roofs' or brown or rubble roofs, where a variety of substrates can be laid over a liner, to provide niches for wildlife. These substrates can include: sand and rubble for insects and be topped with logs and allowed to naturally colonise with plants of local provenance. The rubble may be recycled from crushed brick during demolition and the logs sourced from  trees felled during ground works.

A colleague is studying the bat interest at these roofs, as they feed on the generated insects. If you know of a suitable site where a static bat detector could be located for a few nights, get in touch. For more see green-roof-project

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