Towards a greener London – with help from sheep

London green roofs with flock of sheep to calm bankers

London green roofscape with flock of sheep to calm bankers

In 1992 I wrote a report, Towards a green strategy for London. Many of the proposals are being implemented, but too slowly and with too little drama or imagination. With this in mind, and as my contribution to solving the City of London’s banking problems, I propose keeping a flock of sheep over and above London. They would make a more useful contribution to the sustainablity of the City than any works now in progress but the primary objective would be to restore calm to London’s market traders. With their minds on higher, greener and better things, I believe they would be less frenzied and that we taxpayers would be able to devote more of our savings to our families and a lower proportion to baling out frenzied bankers.

Note: the curvey-roofed building just north of the rooftop meadow, No 54 Lombard Street, is on the site of London’s Roman Forum. So the proposed meadow would be outside the Forum and on an appropriate site.

8 thoughts on “Towards a greener London – with help from sheep

  1. Peter

    Of course I laughed when seeing that image, but it is the radical (sometimes ridiculous) images like this that get people’s attention on green issues. Sheep on a roof catch the eye, but then ideas of green roofs come to play immediately afterwards, followed by the specifics of dealing with rainwater, all the way down to more efficient ways of constructing simple walls. From baaas to the basics!

  2. Tom Turner Post author

    I am convinced that the greatest Square Mile of Wealth Generation in Europe could afford to spend more of OUR hard-earned cash on green roofs. Allen and Overy have set a good example, though perhaps thinking more about the welfare of their staff than the sustainability of the City. And if there any Icelandic banks left with branches in London then I strongly recommend the Icelandic Green Roof Tradition as an approach to restoring their moral reputation. They could run a marketing campaingn Put Your Money in the Greener Bank.

  3. Tom Turner Post author

    Thank you for the research. I have often watched sheep on sea cliffs and believe you are right about their good sense and freedom from vertigo. But I have also seen some casualties and it would be best to put strained steel wires round the chosen buildings.

  4. Tom Turner Post author

    Thank you for the ideas. I think it would be best to ask Andy Goldsworthy to design some sheep folds. As an artist, he has received far too little public recognition. The elitism of the art establishment has led it to believe that because Goldsworthy’s work is popular it can’t possibly be ‘art’ – as it does for Jack Vettriano, a popular Scots artist. Goldsworthy made the elementary error of not putting any sex or excrement into his work. Vettriano uses erotic themes but also neglects the need for to shock. I wonder if breeding sheep with copious droppings might confer establishment recognition on Andy Goldsworthy?

  5. Rajan Mistry

    OMG!!! Imagine the possibilities of a city with a high-limit…even if it’s 300 feet, to be interconnected via their greenroofs with a massive-scale, city-wide livestock space. Goats and sheep, pigs and cows, all happily living together, unaware of the city far below!

    Why only one roof, when the roof can indeed be a secondary, or tertiary layer of our urban fabric? I think it would be very interesting to have an area of the city with rabbits and foxes.

    Oh! How about a rooftop zoo?!?! Okay, that’s ridiculous. Love elephants and chimpanzees though…


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