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City Council encourages uptake of green roofs in bid to boost biodiversity

Milton Keynes City Council is encouraging businesses and households across the city to convert unused rooftops into thriving biodiversity hubs following a visit to one of Milton Keynes’ highest green roofs.

CMK councillors joined living roof specialists Bridgman & Bridgman for a tour of the Green Roof Project earlier this month, which is based above the YMCA in Central Milton Keynes.

The ‘live lab’ spans across 500 square metres – it has sedum plants and wildflowers, produces fruit and vegetables, and is home to over 200,000 bees. It also has solar panels and its drainage layers retain rainwater to reduce the risk of flooding.

CMK Ward Councillors Moriah Priestley and Martin Petchey said:“The Green Roof project is a key pillar of CMK and an asset to the community. During our recent visit, we learnt how the project is having such a positive impact on the environment and local area. It’s a great initiative and we hope to see more green roofs across MK.”

The ward councillors are now calling for businesses to ‘green’ their roofs, and highlighting how households can do the same by greening bin stores, sheds and other smaller structures.

Benefits of green roofs include:

  • CO2 reduction – 1m2 of a green roof can absorb approx. 5 kg of CO2 each year

  • Extending the roof’s lifespan by up to 3 times

  • Air temperature reduction by up to 3 degrees centigrade

  • Keeping buildings warmer in winter and cooler in summer

  • Green roofs provide safe, secure and protected habitats and environments for wildlife

  • They also create green jobs - the Green Roof Project has createdtraineeships, kickstart placements and work experience placements

Chris Bridgman, from Bridgman and Bridgman, added: “We thoroughly enjoyed meeting the councillors and showing them around the Green Roof Project. Experiencing a green roof is a memorable way to understand the benefits of having vegetation on rooftops. Looking from the roof of the YMCA, it is immediately clear how much potential there is for turning grey roofs green in the city.”

Councillor Jenny Wilson-Marklew, Cabinet Member for Climate and Sustainability, concluded:

“Green roofs have proven vital in boosting biodiversity and they help us strive towards our sustainability targets. We’re committed to making Milton Keynes the greenest city in the world and green roofs will play a key part in helping us get there.”


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