The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) recently launched an exciting new campaign called ‘Greening Grey Britain’. Its objective is to transform the UK’s front gardens from hard grey areas into green, planted spaces that are both better for people and the environment. The RHS, with help from its thousands of members and supporters, hopes to transform 6,000 grey spaces by the end of 2017.
Those who want to get involved are being asked to pledge to plant flowerbeds, trees, climbers, shrubs or window boxes in an effort to eradicate as much grey as possible. A survey conducted by the RHS has revealed that plant cover in front gardens has decreased by up to 15% over the last decade. Far from simply being a campaign to make Britain more beautiful, Greening Grey Britain is also about combatting the negative environmental consequences of having too many grey spaces.
For example, gardens that are paved, concreted or gravelled over can exacerbate the risk of flooding and pollution because of impermeable surfaces and insufficient drainage, as well as rob wildlife like butterflies and bees of a home.
We’re eager to support the RHS in its endeavours to make Britain greener, and there are numerous things you can do as a homeowner to make your outdoor space more sustainable:
Look into SuDS
SuDS stands for sustainable urban drainage systems. More frequent and more intense rainfall, combined with the trend to pave over front gardens, means that water is diverted to the wrong places, contributing to floods and pollution. We advocate SuDS and believe those buying new properties should look for developers building homes with gardens that are either SuDS compliant or that have sufficient additional drainage to allow surface water to drain.
Consider sustainable paving
Our sustainable paving systems offer the best of both worlds – they look great and they’re environmentally friendly too. Permeable block paving is available with a range of different finishes and looks. Whether you prefer the traditional style of Drivesett Tegula Priora, the green lawn look of Grassguard, the rich Bioverse Paving System with its cobbled finish, or another from our comprehensive range, you will find the right sustainable paving system for your home.
Encourage the wildlife
Make your garden a haven for the local wildlife by choosing plants that provide pollen and nectar for as long a period as possible. It’s also a good idea to plant a good mix of larger trees, shrubs and flowers to provide lots of seeds for food and places to nest. Adding a pond to your outdoor space is another way to increase your wildlife quota, and providing food and water for birds is a simple way to invite them into your space.
Compost is an excellent, nutrient-rich substance. Making your own and using it to feed your garden’s plants and wildlife is free and sustainable. The fungi and bacteria in the compost make your soil more fertile, while it also provides a home for small animals like grass snakes that are common in some areas of the UK such as in the south and south east of England.
Using a water butt is an inexpensive way to make your garden extra sustainable. Collecting rainwater cuts down on the mains water you use to keep your garden hydrated and, if there’s a hosepipe ban during a heatwave, your garden won’t perish. Another way to conserve precious water is to water plants at cooler times of the day. Watering in direct sunlight means the water could simply evaporate before it has properly drenched your plants.
However you decide to turn your outdoor space from grey to green, now’s the time to get involved in the RHS campaign. , make your pledge, get planting and enjoy a more environmentally friendly, sustainable gardening experience.