Protect your front garden…

May 20th 2015
By: Melanie Hollidge
Protect your front garden…

With space being at a premium in the South of England more and more of us are choosing to pave over our front gardens in order to create additional parking space or somewhere to store recycling bins. Three times as many gardens are paved over than they were a decade ago according to the RHS, Royal Horticultural Society – which amounts to 15 million square miles.
The RHS have stated that not only does paving over a front garden have a negative impact on the environment but also on our health. Paving or concreting doesn’t allow water to penetrate into the soil which helps remove rain water during flash flooding, in hot weather the sun’s rays are absorbed into hard surfaces causing heat radiation at night time. Wildlife such as birds and insects are struggling to survive without any plants.
Alistair Griffiths, director of science at the RHS, said the charity “ had an idea of the increase in paving front gardens, but not as much as this. We need to tackle this issue and while plants won’t solve the whole thing, they are certainly part of the answer”.
Adding a parking space to a property can also add value to a property especially in urban areas where parking is at a premium, in London a parking space can add up to 10% to the value of your home. So it’s no surprise that Londoners are the worst culprits when it come to paving over front gardens.
Homeowners also spend much less time in their front gardens, and often prioritise low maintenance options over a traditional style garden, as they would rather spend their time in their back gardens or watching TV.
At the moment there are very few planning rules concerning pulling up lawns and replacing them with concrete. Although over the past five years there have been 120,000 applications for new dropped kerbs to allow cars to cross over.