Climbing up the walls: Country's largest 'vertical garden' unveiled which experts say will prevent central London from flooding
- 'Living wall' near Victoria station contains more than 10,000 plants
- Uses storage tanks to collect rainwater and nourish the greenery
- Result will be an eye-catching floral display which will help prevent flooding
By STEVE ROBSON
This is the 68ft 'living wall' that experts say will help prevent central London from flooding during Britain's heavy downpours.
Containing more than 10,000 ferns and herbaceous plants, the wall near Victoria station will collect rainwater which falls onto the roof of the building and use it nourish the greenery.
The result will be an eye-catching garden which brightens up the popular tourist route, near The Rubens at the Palace Hotel, and stop it from flooding.
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Green space: The 68ft 'living wall' near Victoria station in London has now been completed
Garden of Eden: The wall contains more than 10,000 plants and flowers
Finishing touches: It is hoped the plants and flowers will help prevent flooding in the busy tourist area
Containing more than 20 seasonal plant species including buttercups, crocuses, strawberries, spring bulbs and winter geraniums, the wall required 16 tons of soil and will be capable of storing up to 10,000 litres of water.
Head for heights: The project has been backed by London Mayor Boris Johnson who wants to encourage more 'green initiatives'
The project, backed by London Mayor Boris Johnson, was launched with the aim of tackling a key environmental challenge in the capital.
According to the Environment Agency, there are around 534,000 properties in London on the Thames floodplain - and one in four are at risk of flooding. This is partly due to the low absorbency of urban surfaces.
Matthew Pencharz, the Mayor's Advisor for Environment and Energy, said: 'London's abundance of trees, parks, gardens and increasing numbers of living roofs can increase resilience to extreme weather.
'The Mayor is encouraging more green initiatives like the living wall to make sure London can continue to compete, not only as the greenest city in Europe, but as the best big city on earth.'
A similar living wall was built in Islington in 2005 but ended in disappointment after the watering system failed and all the plants died.
At the times critics accused the council of frittering away £100,000 of taxpayers' money on a 'green extravagance'.
The Victoria project is believed to be the largest of its kind in the country.
It was launched following a Green Infrastructure Audit - a mapping process identifying new locations for green space in the area.
Following the recommendation, the hotel commissioned concept designs for the wall in recognition of the environmental benefits it is hoped it will bring.
Jonathan Raggett, the managing director of Red Carnation Hotels of which Rubens at the Palace is part, added: 'It was a project we bought into from the very beginning.
'Thanks to the belief and investment of our owners, it's not only been brought to fruition but significantly enhanced from the original concept stage.
'We take the issue of sustainable tourism very seriously across the entire Red Carnation Hotel collection.'
Technology: Storage tanks will gather rainwater from the building's roof and use it to feed the plants
Ground-breaking: The Environment Agency says there are 534,000 properties in London in the Thames floodplain
Ruth Duston, CEO of Victoria BID, said: 'Green infrastructure has a substantial positive impact on the long-term environmental sustainability of an area.
'The hotel's commitment to lead on such an iconic project really showcases the greening agenda overseen by Victoria BID to deliver a model of best practice for London.'
The wall was designed by Gary Grant of the Green Roof Consultancy Ltd and installed and maintained by TreeBox Ltd.
The flowers have been chosen to ensure the wall is 'in-bloom' all year round, attracting wildlife such as birds, butterflies and bees.
Armando Raish, managing director of Treebox, said: 'Due to the variety of plants, we expect the living wall to significantly increase the number and variety of bugs and bees in this part of Victoria.
'It will help promote biodiversity and return nature to this urban environment.'
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2398398/Climbing-walls-Countrys-largest-vertical-garden-unveiled-experts-say-prevent-central-London-flooding.html#ixzz2cru47BpX
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