Improving our biodiversity
Energy Gardens are supporting urban biodiversity, something that is easily overlooked in a busy city like London. Our community gardens create homes for insects to pollinate our crops and fertilise our soil.
The plant species in your Energy Gardens have been carefully selected to support biodiversity. Almost all of the stations have thyme, mint, and rosemary, which are perfect for pollinators and ensure they have enough vegetation and diversity for the entire season. Finchley Road and Frognal stations have lavender plants, which are rich in nectar and flower through the gap, while Willesden and Bush Hill Park have crataegus and rosa rugosa to provide for honey bees.
The orchards at Willesden Junction and Rectory Road also provide a refuge for wildlife and a variety of insects. Traditional orchards were added to the UK Biodiversity Action Plan in 2007 because of the benefits they provide to pollinators like bees and wasps, as well as many species of invertebrates such as woodlice and beetles, which live in the dead wood in the orchard. Fungi such as waxcaps, puffballs, and field mushrooms grow on the ground and trunks. Even mammals such as bats and birds eat the fallen fruit and insects in autumn in preparation for winter. You can read more about the benefits of orchards here.
Many pollinator species are in jeopardy in the UK due to a lack of flowers and vegetation. Their declining population can lead to a rapid reduction in crop production and rare plant biodiversity. Energy gardens across London are providing honey bees, bumblebees, wasps, moths, and other insects with habitats to live in and flowers to pollinate.
Between the sections of the living wall at Penge West station you can see bug huts, which are the perfect homes for bees and pollinating insects.