Environment Minister Hilary Benn visited a pioneering eco-friendly housing estate in Lambeth on Monday to hear first hand how local people are working with us to tackle climate change.
In the week that world leaders meet in Copenhagen to hammer out a deal on climate change, the minister was keen to stress that the efforts of local communities like those in Lambeth are just as important in helping to reduce CO2.
The minister visited the Ethelred Estate in Kennington to see one of the estate’s green roofs, which are surfaced with sedum plants. The green roof is covered in a type of sedum grass instead of traditional flat roof surfacing and attracts wildlife such as birds and insects. It also improves air quality and absorbs rain water, so has a role to play in reducing urban flooding.
The Ethelred Estate is the UK's largest green roof project and covers 10 buildings, with more than 4,000 square metres of roof space covered in sedum plants.
Lambeth secured special government funding for the project, which cost £716,000, and have completed further green roofs in nearby Stockwell and a 'biodiverse brown roof' in Clapham.
The Ethelred roof project was a partnership between Lambeth Council and the Ethelred Tenant Management Organisation (TMO). Mr Benn met David Girdler, the Chair of the TMO, Councillor Lib Peck, Cabinet Member for and Housing and Regeneration on Lambeth Council, as well as our Environment Manager Jon Lissimore, local ward councillors and residents.
Mr Benn was also made an honorary Lambeth 'Green Community Champion'. Lambeth's Green Community Champions scheme is seeing hundreds of volunteers across the borough trained by the Council in sustainability issues, so they can help and inspire their neighbourhoods to be more environmentally sustainable.
For details on how to become a green community champion and for useful tips on going green go to our green champion page or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo and story from Lambeth Council's website.
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