Alluvial gravels, Lizards and green roofs – photo of the day

The lizards climb onto these specially designed green roofs by way of special gabion towers. The stony structures connect the roofs to the ground.

Lizards on green roofs
Lizards, gravels and green roofs – Zurich Railway Station


Today’s green roof photo is a special one.   Not as green as most green roofs should be, it was originally designed specifically for wall lizards. Built over 16 years ago, the roofs were constructed on the roofs of the Zurich Hauptbahnhof platforms. We currently don’t know of any other railway platforms that have green roofs. Not even in Germany.

Furthermore the mullein (Verbascum thapsus), at the time was probably the tallest mullein on a green roof anywhere in the world.

Lizards on green roofs and tramlines

The point is green roofs don’t just have to be the colour of green – a green roof with sparse vegetation can support rare and endangered wildlife, as is the Wall Lizard in Northern Switzerland. Furthermore the design approached reflects the dry river beds. that are common in Switzerland.  The dry stoney river beds are an important habitat for a range of rare and interesting invertebrates. Green roofs are no the only features to be designed this way.

Tramlines in the City of Zurich
Tramlines in the City of Zurich


Elsewhere in the city, other features were designed to help dry river bed creatures, Whether the lizards wander the tramlines, we do not know, but the transport system reflects the habitats of the roofs. Many green roofs in Switzerland work to reflect the habitat of dry river beds. Some maybe greener than the railway station but they are designed to create biodiversity hotspots.

If you have an interesting image of a green roof then enter the green roof beauty contest. The more the images, the more we will be able to celebrate green roofs around the globe.