• Rebecca

Wild Kings Cross

Did you know ducklings can survive leaping off an 18 storey building?

This is one thing I, and others from UAL, learnt on World Environment Day while taking a tour of a roof garden in Kings Cross. The roof had a new resident, a duck who was nesting on the roof, and her ducklings had braved the 9 floor drop! The tour was part of a variety of activities occurring in the area to celebrate World Environment Day and was open to all UAL staff and students.

The roof of 2 Pancras

Those on the tour enjoyed hearing about the flora and fauna of the roof. It was certainly popular with the bees who were busy collecting nectar and pollen. It's well known that bees' honey tastes different depending on the plants they have been collecting from, but it was interesting to hear that our guide thought honey from London tasted better than honey from the countryside. This is because cities and roof gardens such as this have a greater variety of plants than in the countryside where there is often a mono-culture.

As you can see from the photos there was a range of plants on the roof. This included herbs, lavender, and borage - a plant who's leaves smell strongly of cucumber and who's flowers can be frozen in ice cubes to make a summery drink. There were apple trees too. However, the apples had to be picked rapidly, before crows could get to them as they have a tendency to pick them and drop over the side of the roof and onto people's heads...

UAL staff braving the winds on the roof of 2 Pancras

World Environment Day is an initiative set up by the United Nations to encourage awareness and protection of the environment. There’s a theme each year and this year it was ‘Connecting People to Nature’ - I feel this lunchtime detour certainly helped me and others do just that.

If you missed out this year then don’t worry – World Environment Day occurs every 5th June so watch out for next year’s events!