Key areas of focus:
- Peatland conservation
- Wetland Agriculture
- Urban Green Infrastructure
- Invertebrate conservation
Human impact on natural systems is at an all-time high causing global declines in biodiversity and ecosystem health. With predicted increases in populations and urbanisation, this pressure will intensify. An increasingly urbanised world, combined with intensive agriculture, forestry and exploitation of rural landscapes, freshwater and coastal marine ecosystems, has led to numerous environmental impacts associated with the loss of biodiversity. In order to reverse these trends it is necessary to understand how these systems function, interdependencies between them, and develop conservation and management strategies in order to build resilience and ensure sustainability. The recognition of the natural environment as green infrastructure able support the biodiversity necessary to provide a range of ecosystem services is a key step within this process in terms of understanding and communicating this value. The SRI carries out research under a range of themes associated with green infrastructure with the aim of supporting this process.
Areas of activity
Key projects and contracts: Plantlife International’s Munsary Peatlands Reserve; Natural England - Peatland conservation legal cases; Peatlands and carbon; Peatland Briefing Notes
Key projects and contracts: Sphagnum Farming
Often overlooked in planning and legislation, maligned in the media and misunderstood by the public, it is vital that invertebrates are protected and conserved through appropriate habitat management. SRI leads international research on the ecology of invertebrates and the habitat design and management requirements for their conservation.
Key projects and contracts: UEL's Beetle Bump, Buglife Stepping Stones Project, Buglife Urban Buzz project, Essex County Council bumblebee conservation, Olympic Park biosolar roof monitoring, Greater Thames Marshes Nature Improvement Area, Thames Estuary 2100 Thames Grazing Marsh scoping study, Open Mosaic Habitat Conservation and Management, Green roof pollinator study.
- urban heat island effect - leading to problems with air quality, energy use and ambient temperatures
- large expanses of impervious surfaces - resulting in rapid rainwater run‐off and overloading of storm drains causing localised flooding
- reduction in water quality and the quantity of water held in the soil
- reduction in surface seepage to re‐charge groundwater aquifers
- reduced possibilities for contact with nature resulting in a reduction in the health and well‐being of communities
Key projects and contracts: TURAS, Renfrew Gardens, LIFE+ Climate Proofing Housing, Barking Riverside Green Infrastructure Experiments, Tower Hamlets SuDS Guidance, TfL green roof monitoring, Museum of London Green roof water attenuation monitoring, TW- Rainfall runoff gauge development, Stevenage Pocket Park, Green Roof Aggregates, UEL green roof experiment, Green Roof industry standards, Biodiversity Hotspot Mapping - City University.