Earlier this week I joined some of my colleagues down at the Excel centre in London for the huge Ecobuild event. As interesting as it was to see the wide range of technology and types of eco-home that are available, our main role was to promote biodiversity in the built environment. Our little stand was in the Biodiversity Pavillion which we shared with a number of other conservation groups such as Swift Conservation, the Bat Conservation Trust and the Wildlife Trusts.
During the course of the event we had hundreds of conversations with members, builders, planners, architects and students as well as a few people curious to find out more about what we were doing at the show! On our stand we had some Ecosurv nesting bricks for swifts and bats to illustrate the way that nesting space for birds and bats can easily built into new housing developments as well as any renovations. We were also promoting a range of other measures that can incorporate nature into new developments including green roof technology, sustainable drainage systems and living walls. Bees were a frequent topic of conversation and the focus on trying to get them back into the urban landscape. As well as the various landscaping options such as wildflower meadows and nectar rich borders, it was fascinating to see the range of organisations that now specialise in flower rich green roofs, a great way of creating space for bees and other beneficial insects, even where space is limited. Even sheds and garages can provide a significant area for such a project!
Check out the links here, here and here to find out more about some of these great ideas for enhancing the built environment for wildlife. Given the amount of lawn and garden space that has been lost in recent decades, providing this habitat on top of our buildings seems like a great way of putting the green back into urban green space.
Ecobuild is going International with events in India and China but it should return to Excel, London next March (4-6) and I thoroughly recommend going along if this sounds of interest. If you do go, there is a chance you will come across the occasional mountie and stormtrooper (spotted stroking the Dulux dog, there is a video on the homepage!!)
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