sustainable landscape design
for people, nature and climate

Goodman’s Fields Roof Gardens


Planted ‘living’ roofs are an excellent tool for mitigating the impact of climate change; they can regulate building temperature, absorb rainwater, provide CO2 absorption and create habitat for wildlife.

Goodman’s Fields is an impressive mixed use development in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets that has been developed by Berkeley Homes.  It is a large site with a variety of different green spaces including ‘Intensive‘ living roofs, which are living roofs that have a deep depth of soil that can accommodate a wide range of features and plants. Berkeley Homes identified two of the living roof areas in the development to act as dedicated wildlife habitat areas.  Working with London Wildlife Trust, Elaine was instructed to develop a concept strategy for how these habitats at height could look and function. 

The design proposed a series of habitat mounds on a serpentine path. It can be tricky to design round features into rectangular areas but it was important to find a way to create natural forms to reflect the natural spaces being proposed.

Concept Masterplan Sketch

Elaine was then asked to prepare planting plans for the two habitat roofs.   Although these are deeper soiled and with a broad scope for planting they are still essentially planted containers with all the same considerations for the health and longevity of container plants.  Also, the height of the terraces may have greater exposure to the elements, which had to be considered when making planting choices.

The Level 8 Roof Garden was devised to have broadly woodland themed planting with some areas for a wetland themed planting.  The Level 9 Roof Garden was proposed to have robust, drought tolerant sensual planting around the edge that frame a trio of mounds to be planted up with a dry acid heathland mix, chalk meadow, an alpine mix and a wildflower meadow.

Level 8 Planting Plan – woodland and wetland themed
Level 9 Roof Garden Planting Plan – A sensory edge with habitat rich mounds

The habitat gardens have been planted up and the plants are thriving. On a recent visit many birds and insects were spotted. 

Long view of the roof gardens
Central London location
Thriving plants at height
Multiple habitats at height
Multiple habitats at height
Happy plants
Boulder boundary
Gravel and pebble insect habitat