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Audrey's Grow Yer Own Blog

GREEN PLAQUES, ANYONE?

09-03-2009

Our "grow yer own" blogger Audrey Miller wants to locate the region's eco-friendly rooves - can you help? She's proposing" green" plaques instead of blue ones.

I am really interested to track down where the green rooves of Birmingham and the Black Country are sited.

Which government bodies, developers and companies have had the foresight to see the environmental advantages of having a green roof I wonder

The extra layer helps to cool the building in summer and provides extra insulation in winter, as well as soaking up the surplus rainwater,that can cause flooding in our towns and cities. Wild life clearly benefits too from this unique space, high above our busy streets. It really is a win win project that even prolongs the life of the roofing materials.

So far my search as revealed one such space on the roof of BVSC Birmingham Voluntary Service Council) at 138 Digbeth. It is near the infamous Bullring Selfridges store and St Martin's church.

More details can be found on www.bvsc.org/greenroof.The mini wild life reserve was set up with the help of grants and monitored by Birmingham University.It was fascinating to see the live web cam pictures beamed down to a screen in the reception area of the office.

This delightful roof attraction will bring in a range of plants insects and birds. The one species highest on the wish list is to attract in the schedule 1 Black Redstart which is under threat with only 100 pairs now left in the whole UK.

If BVSC can pioneer such a worthwhile project there must be other green rooves across the region that should be highlighted. Such a scheme needs to be given every encouragement it can. I would like to see Britain in Bloom, Birmingham City Council and every other local authority as well as any voluntary groups institute some kind of "Green Roof Award".

Perhaps a green plaque on the building to encourage us all to look up and realise we have opportunity to enhance our urban offices/apartment roof spaces.

Let's have the listings of known green rooves on the Stirrer forum and ideas on how to promote such a scheme in Birmingham the Black country and beyond. Not only could these roof top oasis be used to bring in more wildlife to the urban areas they could be used for growing food.

This week I was pleased to get a call from one office asking how and what salad crops they could grow on the windowsill.

I recommended them to start growing chives parsley, lettuce and any of their favorite salad leaves from seed in the same pot; it would then by a simple movement of the scissors - cut the greens for each fresh serving. But just think of the exciting possibilities of having a whole roof to use not just a windowsill!

If you are still undecided about having your own allotment plot there are still a few associations with vacancies. The idea of sharing plots that I mentioned in my last blog seems to be catching on. My own association has reduced the waiting list in the last week or so by sub dividing the bigger plots.

With the lengthening days and shops full of seeds now is the time to begin your vegetable planning. Whether it is on the windowsill, roof or in your back garden its great fun why not give it a try?

DO YOU KNOW WHERE THERE ARE GREEN ROOVES AROUND THE WEST MIDLANDS? DISCUSS THIS ON THE STIRRER FORUM

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