Inspiring the next generation with a green roof

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The environmental benefits of green (or living) roofs have been well documented: improved insulation, reduction in energy bills, climate change mitigation, increasing biodiversity and wildlife habitats, and so on. But for them to become a popular feature in both urban and rural landscapes, they have to capture the public imagination. This is a long-term project that needs to start now with the current generation of schoolchildren.

Green roofs for inspiration

Children are inquisitive about nature – think of all the hours that are spent digging in the mud looking for worms!

children with magnifying glasses

While living roofs are not a replacement for ground based habitats, they have the potential to be what can be described as stepping stones, and provide valuable habitats for flora and fauna.

Local causes are a great way to inspire young children, and green roofs should be designed with local biodiversity needs in mind.

For example, they can be used to protect locally threatened species by recreating habitats that have been eradicated – a project such as this will inspire a real sense of pride and achievement in young minds as they are able to watch species flourish as a result of their interest and input.

Green roofs in schools

Installing a green roof at a school might seem like an extravagance, but they can be a cost effective solution by cutting energy bills.

sedum roof on Anglia Ruskin University

This sedum green roof on Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge
has been designed with safe access in mind so that students can study the biodiversity on the roof

However, the real value is in exposing the children every day to a real wildlife habitat, and encouraging their participation.

With school budgets being squeezed ever tighter, having such a rich natural environment on site is invaluable, and if planned and maintained appropriately, can take in several kinds of natural habitat, including grass meadows, brownfield sites and wetland areas including ponds.

green roof on bird feeder

Even a tiny green roof, such as this bird table, is a source of inspiration to children.
This particular project is cost-effective and is at the right height for youngsters to see easily 

Pupils can be encouraged to take an interest and to take responsibility for their surroundings from an early age, much of the learning in Early Years and Key Stage 1 takes place outdoors – ‘Forest Schools’ are becoming a popular aspect of the curriculum – and being able to access these resources seamlessly within the school setting would be a huge advantage for the pupils.

Find out how to create your own living green roof

Download this FREE green roof installation guide from the Enviromat website

Download the guide

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