Why we need Green Roofs for Wildlife Corridors

Angela Lambert   9th March 2013

Angela Lambert at APL eventI recently gave a talk to a group of APL members at their networking seminar that was entitled "ethical and sustainable landscaping". I was given the brief of to explaining how green roofs and wild flowers fit into a sustainable landscape and guess what - it was really difficult; not only because I find public speaking a bit of a challenge,  but because I had a 20 minute time slot and was going to struggle to say everything I wanted to in such a short time.

Green roofs, we'll designed, properly installed and carefully maintained are super sustainable and of enormous benefit to wildlife, to the environment and to whoever or whatever uses the buildings they are on.  For this blog spot I'll concentrate on the way in which green roofs create wildlife corridors and why that's so important to humans.

Around one third of our food depends on pollinating insects such as bees, moths, butterflies and hoverflies.  Without these tiny volunteers we would have no apples, plums, courgettes, tomatoes, beans, onions, cucumbers or cabbages - we'd also be short of flowering plants and oh my goodness, wouldn't we have to pay high prices for our 5 a-day!

 

Over the last few decades, scientists have recorded an enormous decline in the numbers of pollinating insects and there is a worry that if pollinators keep disappearing, it will become more and more difficult go feed the rising population of people know this country.

 Two of the factors that are affecting pollinating insects are a lack of suitable food plants and long distances between colonies.  In other words, man has either built on or cultivated so much land that our small helpers can't find enough to eat when the food crops have finished flowering. Neither can they travel to the next colony to mate with partners that are not close relatives.

 A wildlife corridor addresses both of these problems and needn't be an inconvenience to us people.  If every street, motorway, fenceline, hedgerow and riverbank were lined with nectar-rich flowers, laval food plants for caterpillars and resting places for tired critters, our pollinators would all be much healthier and happier. 

bird on green roof

If planting at ground level is not practical eg in towns or where gardens have been paved over for parking,  green roofs make great service stations for flying creatures.   Enviromat sedum matting is frequently used to create green roofs on sheds and garden offices and has recently been approved by the RHS to carry the RHS Perfect For Pollinators logo. 

It isn't difficult to create a green roof for wildlife using Enviromat....check out our installation page for a more information or read more about green roofs for wildlife.