Liverpool’s latest “living green wall” has been officially unveiled at an iconic city centre gateway.
Measuring 27 metres long and up to 2 metres high, the stunning feature stands at the entrance of Liverpool ONE’s Chavasse Park – facing the Royal Albert Dock – and boasts almost 8,000 pollinator friendly plants and 24 different species.
The freestanding installation, which will form part of the existing nature trail in the Green Flag accredited Chavasse Park, is part of an innovative project to create a series of wildlife-friendly “environmental stepping stones” across a city centre recognised for having one of the lowest percentages of greenspace in the UK.
As well as having been specifically designed to encourage insects back into the city centre and to help clean the air, the project is part of a wider programme aimed at developing the city’s resilience to climate change.
The visually striking structure, predicted to be seen by more than 10 million people over the next 12 months, will provide a natural physical barrier to traffic pollution along The Strand by re-dispersing vehicle pollutant gases and fine exhaust particles.
Every year the living wall is predicted to (approximately):
• Extract 110.5kg of carbon
• Produce 144.5kg of oxygen
• Extract 230kg of gas
The fledgling urban wildlife haven is also fitted with smart technology, has its own climate sensors and irrigation system and will absorb up to 15 decibels of sound at any one time.
The living wall also complements the redevelopment of The Strand, which is undergoing a major redesign to improve traffic flow, road safety and air quality. New trees and planting on The Strand are also helping to reduce the likelihood of future surface water flooding.
The living wall project is a partnership between Liverpool City Council, The Mersey Forest and The University of Liverpool. Funding has come from the EU Horizon 2020 project Urban GreenUP, which seeks to tackle environmental issues through innovative natural solutions, and from the Green Recovery Challenge Fund through the ‘More from Trees’ project managed by the Mersey Forest team.
Over the next two years, a team from Mersey Forest will monitor the environmental, ecological and wellbeing performance and impact of the wall and its development as a mini ecosystem.
The Liverpool ONE living green wall, which is populated with evergreen plant species such as Euonymus gaiety, Carex pendula and Carex testacea, is the third such feature to spring up in the city, with one at Parr Street Car Park and the other at St Johns Shopping Centre, which at 60m is believed to be one of the longest of its kind in the UK.
Other eco-friendly installations funded through the £3.5m URBAN GreenUP programme include spectacular planted floating islands at Sefton Park and Wapping Dock. More than 140 trees have also been planted across the city centre on key roads, such as The Strand and Lime Street.
The URBAN GreenUP programme forms part of a wider Liverpool city council climate change response to deliver on its climate change declaration in 2019 and to rebalance the city’s carbon footprint and achieve a net zero output by 2030.
This living green wall project is also part-funded by the government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund, which forms part of the nation’s wider green economic recovery, jobs and skills package to restore nature and tackle climate change.