How to build a 5.5m waterfall without cement or concrete

Next week, the SVBG’s very first Biodiversity Festival kicks off:

Sidmouth Biodiversity Festival – June 5th – 11th, 2023 – Sid Valley Biodiversity Group

The importance of “wild” patches in British gardens

Last week, biodiversity and sustainability were at the heart of the Chelsea Flower Show:

Weeds grow at London’s Chelsea Flower Show

And one show garden really made the point:

The Fauna & Flora Garden at Chelsea 2023 – Fauna & Flora International

Dame Judi Dench has praised a charity that encourages people to re-wild gardens, saying it “inspires people”. The Oscar-winning actress was visiting a garden at the Chelsea Flower Show created by Cambridge-based charity Fauna and Flora International. It was designed to replicated the landscape of Central Africa, including eucalyptus and banana trees and a true-to-life gorilla nest set. It also aims to highlight the importance of “wild” patches in British gardens, showcasing the impact of nettles, brambles and weeds on animals and insects in Africa and the UK.

Chelsea Flower Show: Dame Judi Dench praises re-wilding garden – BBC News

The importance of sustainable solutions

As part of the Show’s requirement that gardens have a low impact, the Fauna and Flora garden has used some very innovative construction methods:

The Gorilla Garden has been designed by RHS gold medal winner Jilayne Rickards with sustainability and biodiversity awareness at its heart. The 5.5m waterfall will be constructed with boulders weighing up to 4.7 tonnes but is entirely cement and concrete free. Instead, an innovative Rootlok method that holds the boulders in place using bags filled with soil on a stable base, and stacked together with interlocking plates, is being applied.

The boulders forming the waterfall are a waste product from agricultural farming, donated by CED Stone Group. Upon the show’s completion the boulders will be returned to CED Stone Group to be used again. Additionally, the Fauna & Flora Garden will be relocated to the Tropical Biome of the Eden Project in Cornwall, where it will help to educate and inspire around one million visitors a year.

Fauna & Flora’s Gorilla Garden is one of many gardens featured at this year’s RHS festival season prioritising the importance of sustainable agricultural and horticultural solutions

RHS Chelsea Flower Show’s coveted Main Avenue will feature a 5.5m waterfall – Pro Landscaper Magazine

Low impact and nature-friendly solutions along the River Sid

As part of next week’s SVBG Biodiversity Festival, Ed Eley of the Wild Trout Trust will be taking a guided walk along the Sid’s main weirs:

Talks and walks along the Sid – 6th June – update – The Sid

As we consider “their effect on habitat and fish passage”, we can also consider the longer term future of the weirs and environmentally-friendly solutions for the River.

To finish, here’s the video of the concept and construction of the Fauna and Flora garden:

The Fauna & Flora Garden at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2023 – YouTube