For 30 Days Wild today, I've been thinking about the state of greenery in the UK.
According to a recent report from the Royal Horticultural Society in the Independent newspaper, three times as many front gardens in the UK are now completely paved over compared to the number ten years ago. The stated reasons for this include people not having the time or energy to maintain their garden. Oddly the article doesn't mention either the increased number of cars which means that owners are paving over the front garden for parking or the fact that even in a one car household, on a busy road, many people pave over the garden to give themselves a turning circle so they don't need to reverse into a busy street first thing in the morning.
The effect of paving over so many front gardens is disastrous for local plant and animal life and also increases the risks of flooding, with water unable to soak into soil and instead running off hard surfaces.
In response to this trend, the Royal Horticultural Society has set up Greening Grey Britain, an initiative that aims to transform hard grey areas into living green areas by the end of 2017.
You can join in by pledging to plant some greenery in your garden or other space. Pledges range from planting a window box to planting a tree, meaning that you can fit in with your space constraints.
The benefits of planting more greenery include:
better health for people who get outside and garden
more space for wildlife
improved air movements and over a large area can help to reduce the temperature
insulation for housing surrounded by greenery
You can read more of the benefits of Greening Grey Britain here.
The website also includes lots of inspiring resources and stories, including how a school in Dundee transformed a litter strewn eyesore into a wildflower meadow and how a group of allotment holders worked with skateboarders to green the skatepark and improve community relations.