Bee hotel and habitat walls full of bees – Wat Tyler Green Roof, Essex

The roof we designed with the Grass Roof Company was installed in 2009. We added a series of bee hotels and habitat walls designed by Green Roof Shelters. This year the roof and the bees are booming.

A view of the Wat Tyler Green Roof in Essex

Wat Tyler is at the heart of an very important area of England for rare invertebrates. The roof was designed to provide habitat and to show that well designed green roofs can provide important habitat on buildings for many rare invertebrates associated with brownfield land.

The habitat walls/bee hotels were installed to provide additional habitat for mining and other solitary bees. In the second year many have taken up residence in our bespoke habitat walls.

Bee residences in habitat wall

Bee hotel with bee nests

Bee hotel and bee nests

The roof is also being monitored by the green roof research team at UEL lead by Dr. Kadas, who is one of leading green roof zoologists in the world. These pictures were taken on a recent site visit. The monitoring is part of a project that has been monitoring  roofs since 2002. By 2012 we will have ten years of data on how different green roof systems and designs perform for rare invertebrates and especially rare bees such as Bombus humilis and suylvarum.

Let’s hope both of these bee species are seen on the roof this year as they were last year on the UEL Barking Riverside Green Roof Research Station.

The habitat wall designed featured on the recent SIlver Gilt garden, designed by Nigel Dunnett at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. The walls and hotels were part of a green roof shipping container that was transformed into a garden office. The office came complete with a special green roof and many habitat features for biodiversity.

The Wat Tyler green roof was a Buglife – the Invertebrate Charity ‘South Essex Stepping Stone Project. The project was funded by the Tubney Charitable Trust, Veolia and Essex Environment Trust.

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