London is getting the UK’s first ever rooftop forest

You’ve heard of a rooftop garden, now get ready for a rooftop forest. The former Blackfriars Crown Court building is being converted, and it’s going to have a wonderful woodland on its roof. Roots in the Sky is set to be one of Europe’s biggest roof forests. 

The sky-high arboretum will house 125 mature trees and 10,000 plants. It will also make the perfect home for stag beetles, which will be placed in situ there before the soil is laid down. South London actually has one of the UK’s biggest populations of stag beetles, which is the UK’s largest bug. The greenery will hope to attract a whole new load of wildlife to the rooftop, too.

There’ll be local community access to an edible garden for foraging, potting shed, seed bank and a community pavilion, so locals can look after plants and enjoy being in nature high in the sky. Slightly better than the bog standard bandstand in your local green. On the swankier end of the spectrum, the garden will host a swimming pool, restaurant and private terraces for the offices in the building. 

The building itself hopes to contribute to London’s goal of reaching net zero by 2030. It will be rather high-tech, including reclaimed steel, integrated waste energy capture, and 1,000 tonnes of soil on the rooftop forest will protect against flash flooding by reducing storm run-off by more than 30 percent.

The project, carried out by Fabrix, will begin in January 2023.

In pictures: beautiful gardens at London tube stations

London could be rewilded with natural species.

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