Biodiversity and Climate Resilience Conference

BALI Member Event

The Last Drop Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
03 Dec 2019
5 Thornton Street, London, Greater London, E20 2AD
Opening times:
10am – 4.15pm

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Building Biodiversity and Climate Resilience into Urban Green Space

Climate change and biodiversity loss are finally newsworthy, but these critical challenges have taken a back seat in public awareness thanks to austerity and Brexit. None the less, great work has been taking place across Europe by passionate and imaginative greenspace professionals. This conference aims to communicate some of what’s already possible, and to discuss what new innovations our imaginative industry can develop to address biodiversity loss and climate change.

The RSPB and BALI Registered Contractor member idverde have joined forces to put on a conference that shares best practice between those who design, create and maintain landscapes within urban or peri-urban environments.

The conference is by invitation; there's no charge for attendance. They have places for 120 delegates, and are inviting:

  • Local Authority parks and open space officers
  • Local Authority Portfolio Holders
  • Social Landlords
  • Private Housing developers
  • Landscape architects
  • Landscaping contractors
  • Landscaping trade press and associations
  • House Builders and Construction professionals

This isn’t a scientific conference, nor is it aimed at those who create green infrastructure policy. Instead, it’s aimed at encouraging those who manage, design or build green infrastructure for a living; to generate optimism that together, we really can make a difference.

They have some great speakers* (see full programme below), and a range of landscaping contractors will take part in a debate with the audience to end the conference.

*Speakers may be subject to change


Arrive and welcome

10:00 Arrival tea and coffee

10:30 Beccy Speight, Chief Executive, RSPB To open the conference and share RSPB’s views on the increasingly important role of urban landscapes.

Technical Solutions

10:40 Richard Scott, Director, National Wildflower Centre at the Eden Centre. Bringing it back: Applied ecology, wildflowers, people and nature recovery. Responding to the climate and extinction crisis.

11:00 Matt Simpson, Director of 35 Percent, President of the Society of Wetland Scientists (SWS) Europe. Creating and retrofitting SUDs and wetlands in urban public areas; lessons learned from other projects in Europe.

11:20 Wilco van Heerewarden, Location Manager, BTL Advies B.V. (Netherlands) and Arjan Schoenmakers, Lead Ecologist, BTL Advies B.V. (Netherlands) A protocol for Nature Roofs – the Dutch experience of creating green roofs with a high ecological quality , together with complementary functions such as cooling and drainage.

11:40 Coffee break 

Engaging communities to deliver solutions

12:00 Fiona Weir, ‘Giving Nature a Home’ Project Manager, RSPB Scotland Design and development of a city-wide wildlife garden with community green spaces and schools across Glasgow and Edinburgh

12:20 John Little, The Grass Roof Company How decent, imaginative maintenance improves life and biodiversity within social housing estates.

12:40 Sarah Hughes-Clarke (idverde) Steven Lofting, Biodiversity Advisor (RSPB - idverde ) and Rita Gries, Community Engagement Officer (RSPB - idverde) Joint session to explain why a leading landscaping contractor and the UK’s largest nature conservation body got together and what’s been achieved through enthusing local communities.

13:00 Networking lunch

Best practice in housing - Two case studies from private and public developments

14:00 Helen Nyul, Group Biodiversity Manager, Barratts Developments PLC and Paul Stephen, Business Conservation Advisor, RSPB The business case for integrating biodiversity into developments – illustrated through the work of the RSPB and Barratt Developments Partnership

14:20 Phil Askew, Director of Landscaping and Placemaking, Peabody The Thamesmead Neighbourhood project and how its regeneration will deliver significant climate resilience and biodiversity value.

14:45 Coffee break with mince pies

15:00 Panel discussion

What are the barriers and opportunities for integrating biodiversity and climate resilience into urban greenspace?

Four representatives from leading landscaping contractors and consultants will speak for 5 minutes each on what they perceive these barriers and opportunities to be - from their own experience of creating and maintaining landscapes. The debate will then be opened to the audience, to offer comment, advice and solutions.

16:00 Thanks and closing remarks

16:15 Depart

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