Using green roofs for wildlife adaptation
Green roofs and building facades can encourage wildlife in the built environment.
Green roofs provide habitats for a range of wildlife, in some instances replacing habitats lost to new development. For example, in London the Black Redstart action plan has initiated a green roof programme to provide this endangered bird with breeding habitat.
The enhancement of biodiversity will depend on the plant species and habitat or vegetation type used as the model for the green roof. Standard sedum-mat based roofs have rather limited biodiversity in comparison to other types. Extensive green roofs - designed not to be walked on - can potentially provide very good undisturbed habitat for plants, birds and insects. Diversity in the planning and construction of a green roof leads to diversity in the plants and animals. A variety of heights, slopes, stony unvegetated areas, vegetation types, freely and poorly drained areas maximises ecological value.
Green roofs are especially important in urban areas. Swiss researchers found that those in the suburbs were less visited by birds than those in the city (see Dunnett and Kingsbury, 2004 for more information).
CABE and Urban Practitioners
with the cities of Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield