The Tarr Column

Alun gained a BSc in Plant Physiology and Protected Horticultural Crops in 1983 and a PhD in Plant Physiology and Genetics in 1993, both whilst at Nottingham University.

He was a founder of Blackdown Horticultural Consultants in 1999. Blackdown specialized in the design, supply, installation and maintenance of Green Roof systems. For over 10 years Alun was Sales, Contracts and Technical director for Blackdown.

Following his resignation in January 2010, Alun and Karen Tarr have set up the independent company, Wildface.

Alun has strong views on the design and delivery of green roofs. Although these views are linked to a practical understanding of the industry they are driven by a belief in the fundamental purpose of a green roof – to reduce environmental impact.

Alun loves plants, enjoys music and supports Cardiff City football Club. He lives on the Blackdown Hills in Somerset with his wife Karen, and their two children, Evie and Evan.

STOP PRESS: NEW NEWS IS NOT NEW SHOCK. NEW NEWS IS OLD NEWS. MORE NEW OLD NEWS TO FOLLOW

Hundertwasser was an Austrian artist and visionary with an immovable belief that the built environment had to develop in harmony with Nature - not at its cost. Hundertwasser fundamentally believed in the concept of covering buildings with plants. For many living and working today some of his ideas could be considered.....to put it diplomatically.... 'cranky'. I would however urge anyone with the time to look closely for the significant babies in the Hundertwasser bath and to do so before throwing out both the water and the infants. Hundertwasser had a philosophy with regards building that underpinned the thinking. His philosophy was the foundation that supported the subsequent body of thoughts and ideas. Although I would probably agree that some of the ideas that sprung forth were a little questionable, I can only give heartfelt support to his philosophy. I would hope that it is now universally accepted, that our interaction with the natural world as individuals and society needs to change and thankfully, that process is ongoing. I do believe however, that to drive positive change, the philosophy needs to be strong and clear.

With specific regard to Green Roofs we are seeing an increase in their profile and their installation. Would it follow therefore that this must be positive change?........Well........possibly. I would ask the following rhetorical question (with multiple choice provisional answers):

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