The traffic island at Lowden Road in London Borough of Lambeth used to be filled with ugly, cracked and uneven concrete paving slabs. The local council together with London Wildlife Trust and local residents wanted to improve it with planting to make it more attractive to pedestrians and offer some interest to wildlife as well and within a theme of rain water absorption and value. I proposed three planted beds that will absorb rain water run off from the island whilst maintaining pedestrian access with a simple buff tarmac path. Planting will be species that can tolerate both wetter and dryer conditions and provide soem interest to wildlife with food or shelter opportunities.
Local artist Hannah Littlejones then worked her magic to create a delightful watery themed mosaic with local school children from Christ Church primary. We have also discussed using water repelling stencils on the hard surfacing that are only activated when they become wet as though emerging through the wet surfacing.
There has been one wintery community planting day already to plant shrubs but the bulk of the planting will happen in spring. All in all a much better use for a pedestrianised traffic island – for people, for wildlife and for the climate!