Wild West End
We’re creating a green corridor in central London linking Regent’s Park and St James’s Park. This kick-started Wild West End, a unique partnership of property owners to promote ecology across London’s West End.
Going beyond biodiversity plans for individual developments, we’re implementing an Ecological Masterplan for our entire central London estate, developed in partnership with ecology specialist Arup. Through this holistic Masterplan, we’re seeking to create over a hectare of new green space, an area one and a third times the size of Wembley Stadium football pitch.
We’re installing green roofs, brown roofs, green walls, pocket habitats, community gardens, window boxes, planters, bird boxes, bat boxes and beehives – creating valuable habitats for wildlife and improving the experience for people living, working and visiting central London.
We’ve already introduced species-rich green roof at 7 Air Street, installed a green wall and green terraces at 10 New Burlington Street, and hosted a pop-up garden with lawns and a sustainable bee and butterfly zone on Regent Street, as part of Summer Streets 2015.
Our Ecological Masterplan activity has also kick-started Wild West End, a unique collaboration by The Crown Estate and other core West End property owners to promote green infrastructure in the capital, with the Mayor of London and London Wildlife Trust as strategic partners and technical input from Arup. This is the first city centre ecology project of its kind worldwide, conceived and driven forward by an industry partnership of this sort.
Our Ecological Masterplan won the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management’s 2015 Innovation Award.
Through the Wild West End we look forward to transforming a part of the city for thousands of residents, workers and tourists to enjoy even more.”Boris Johnson, former Mayor of London
Benefits of our Ecological Masterplan include:
- Enhancing biodiversity: creating a series of high quality sites and green stepping stones that offer a range of habitats for plants and insects, foraging and nesting for birds and important refuges enabling wildlife to move more freely between two major parks – so nature can really thrive in central London.
- Nurturing wellbeing: contributing positively to air quality, with plant species that catch and hold pollutants on the leaf surface, and to the experience of people working, shopping and living in London’s West End. 85% of people say that quality of public space and the built environment directly impacts their lives and how they feel, according to research by CABE.
- Enhancing occupier appeal: contributing to high sustainability ratings, such as BREEAM Outstanding at 7 Air Street, and creating green spaces that enable those who live and work in our buildings to connect with nature throughout the day.
- Facilitating development planning: using a habitat survey that Arup carried out across our central London estate, which is valid for BREEAM assessments on individual developments for up to two years.
will be created through our Ecology Masterplan
- Reducing urban temperatures: strategically selecting and locating green infrastructure, which can cool air by 2ºC to 8ºC, according to the Forestry Commission, reducing the urban heat island effect, where cities are hotter than surrounding countryside due to more hard surfaces and less greenery.
- Cutting urban flood risks: creating 1 hectare of green space, including green roofs. A Natural England study in Victoria indicates 1 hectare of green roof has the potential to absorb and slow run-off from 3.2 million litres of rainwater each year.