Man Made Trees Invite Natural Species To Return Home

Green spaces in urban areas have declined by 80 percent in 50 years, according to British conservationist Natural England. Once an agricultural area, the commercial/industrial city of Leeds, England has displaced millions of birds, bats, and small animals and hundreds of individual species have disappeared completely from the urban landscape.  But Leeds has decided to bring its wildlife back.

Leeds held a competition run by business community Holbeck Urban Village for habitat designs that would bring back the bio-diversity of the city.  The winning design not only provides habitat for birds, bats, insects, and people-shy animals like foxes and badgers, but it blends beautifully with the architecture of the city's canals once lined with textile mills and chimneys.


Man Made Trees (credit BBC News)Man Made Trees (credit BBC News)


The winning submission was created by Neil Oxlee of Garnett Netherwood Architects. Made entirely of recycled materials, the overall design was actually inspired by the surrounding towers already lining the canal: the 80-foot Italianate Towers, built 200 years ago.

Garnett Netherwood will work with Natural England conservationists on the specifics of the design so that the towers will offer everything the target wildlife species will enjoy securely -- including nesting areas.

Peter Nottage of Natural England told BBC News:  "These fantastic tower block designs provide all the needs for an aspiring city dweller - a trendy home made from renewable materials, somewhere close to the best food and watering holes and a place to socialise."

There will be bird songs in Leeds again!


BBC News via AllGov




Jun 11, 2009
by JDoors
JDoors's picture


I "get" that the artificial trees mirror the old towers, but would have hoped for a more naturalistic interpretation than "stuff planters into the old towers."

Jun 17, 2009
by Anonymous

Man Made Trees

Pretty cool idea!
I hope they have a living element to them though.
our earth needs more photosynthesis!