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Roof-top Edens in East London

students in class

Two researchers in the University of East London’s Sustainability Research Institute are transforming student accommodation into ‘brown roof’ havens for local wildlife and plants.

Project leaders Dr Stuart Connop and Jack Clough are using soil and rubble – hence the brown description – to turn three student residence roofs at the University’s Docklands campus into ecosystems of green vegetation, insects and birds.

Unlike typical green roofs, brown roofs aim to create biodiversity. The duo have introduced an impressive 23 varieties of seed, with wild Basil and Marjoram adding a culinary flavour.

“The roofs will look nicer, and be more attractive for plants and wildlife,” said Jack.

“This project could have far reaching influences across the capital and the rest of the country,” said Stuart. “We hope our work will encourage others to transform their roofs.”

The pair plan to publish their findings in a research journal when the project’s complete.

UEL has strong green credentials, and aspirations to be a higher education sector leader in all aspects of sustainability. With ambitious targets around carbon management, energy consumption, and sustainability, it’s sure to continue supporting research that makes it a greener place for all.

Notes to Editors

The University of East London (UEL) is a global learning community with students from over 120 countries world-wide. Our vision is to achieve recognition, both nationally and internationally, as a successful and inclusive regional university proud of its diversity, committed to new modes of learning which focus on students and enhance their employability, and renowned for our contribution to social, cultural and economic development, especially through our research and scholarship. We have a strong track-record in widening participation and working with industry.