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 nature. 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’ comprising 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. The latter is 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 the 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. They will help children to discover that rooftops of any size can be alive 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 is delighted to welcome RBG Kew as an associate member to the organisation.
For more information on the Green Roof Organisation please email or visit the website. To find out more about the Kew Gardens’ Secret World of Plants experience please click here.