A new ecological ‘Living Wall’, much like the vertical gardens you would expect to see in Hong Kong or Singapore, has been installed in the Parish of St Brelade and is causing a buzz with locals, both insects and people! The wall is understood to be the first of its kind to be installed locally, using the fytotextile wall system, which is the lightest irrigated living wall system on the UK market.
The wall was installed by Scottscape, a specialist UK company, who workied alongside and trained Nurture Ecology Ltd, a local Ecological Consultancy and Habitat Management company. Michael Felton Landscape Architects worked on the plant design to create interesting patterning, utilising plants that are highly beneficial for local wildlife and will thrive at this coastal location.
Green infrastructure such as these living walls, green retaining walls, green roofs etc., is something that Paul Wagstaffe, Director of Nurture Ecology Ltd, believes is an exciting and vital step for the Island. Delivering more sustainable development in the Island is both a key objective of the new Bridging Island Plan, but also of the increasing number of eco-conscious Islanders
‘Products such as these offer a huge number of benefits to the homeowner and of course to local ecology. Demonstrable environmental gain is becoming an emphasised requirement for Planning Applications, but space for such improvements on site, is often a limitation. It makes sense to ‘go vertical’ with living walls, or green retaining walls and we are excited to have expanded our services into this area.’, said Paul.
‘Green infrastructure is part of the solution for sustainable development in the Island, and offers a huge number of benefits. With the training and availability to install and maintain green infrastructure locally now, we hope that Islanders will start to see this type of product isn’t just for busy cities such as Singapore but has a real worth and place in Jersey!’
The living wall is made from strong, lightweight and fully waterproof panels, which can be made to fit any size or shape, including curved walls. Each panel includes dozens of small planting pockets, which are planted to give an instant green wall, that will only become denser and more interesting over time. Plants can be chosen to suit the exact location, aspect, colours and desires of the homeowner. An irrigation system is integrated into the panels to ensure every single plant is watered, attached to a timer to give a twice daily dowsing of water. Ongoing maintenance of the walls can also be provided.
Living walls are becoming popular in cities and rural areas alike as they absorb pollution, provide clean air, absorb noise, provide insulation, increase biodiversity, and simply add a WOW factor – and look beautiful!
Guy and Maria Plante, the homeowner of the house near Petit Port where this living wall was installed said: ‘We needed to show environmental gain in order to get Planning Permission to create an extension at our property, and this Living Wall system seemed the best way to do it. We are delighted with the outcome and love the planting design that gives so many colours and textures. It will provide an important pollen and nectar source for many insects throughout the summer months. We are so excited to see what it looks like next year once it’s fully established.’