Living Roof

Living Roof diagram

Living Roof and Rainwater Harvesting System

At The Spinney we have no mains water supply, so we decided to start collecting rainwater from the roof of our tool store.

Our Rainwater Harvesting System is made up of a waterproof platform built on top of the tool store, a gutter and downpipe at one side and a big collector tank to hold all the rainwater.The water collected is not suitable for drinking but we use it for cleaning our spades and other tools and for watering plants.

On top of the waterproof platform we have installed a Living Roof. This is a mixture of flowering plants grown in a special substrate. It was supplied in rolls which we had to hoist up onto the roof then cut to size and lay out like a carpet. The plants are mainly members of the sedum plant family. These were chosen because they flourish in the British climate and have an amazing ability to survive where other plants would struggle in thin soils, even when the weather is very hot and dry. They are also easy to manage as they don’t need mowing or deadheading, so we can just leave them alone.

Benefits of our Living Roof

* Attracts wildlife and improves biodiversity by providing:-

   - food for butterflies, bees and many other insects.

   - a safe place for mini-beasts to live and to overwinter

   - insects and seed heads for birds to eat.

   - dead stalks and flower stems for birds to use as nesting material

* Absorbs Carbon Dioxide Helps reduce global warming and improves air quality by releasing oxygen

* Filters dust and pollutants from the air