Sunday, 21 June 2015

Turning a greying country green again

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.

9 comments:

eileeninmd said...

Sounds like a great idea! I hope people take the pledge and plant some gardens.. Have a happy new week!

eileeninmd said...

Sounds like a great idea! I hope people take the pledge and plant some gardens.. Have a happy new week!

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

Off street parking puts a big whack on the value of your house, you only have to watch all those dreadful property shows to see that.

speedyrabbit said...

Great idea that,xx Rachel

Crafty Green Poet said...

Hi Simon, I'm sure it does, dreadful for nature though.

Grayhen Tor said...

Completely agree with the initiative. Disappointing though that, as always, the MSM fail to identify the main cause which, IMO, is hugely over-inflated house prices leading to offspring staying at home longer, increased house sharing etc therefore more cars per household. Oh no, it's actually because we don't fancy gardening that much anymore... LOL

gabriellebryden said...

I can't imagine gardens being completely paved - not something people do in Australia very often but we do have lots of space as a rule!

Donna said...

This is indeed a wonderful effort...here we just install lawns in lieu of gardens which don't help nature and wildlife.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Hi Donna, at least lawns are better than concrete....