Greening grey Britain

A decade ago only 7% of people thought plants were important in our streets and public places to stimulate the senses; today that has risen to 29%. The number of people who think plants are valuable to reflect the changing seasons has doubled, and those of us who believe plants are important to provide year-round colour has risen from a quarter of the population to nearly half.

The RHS 2015 Greening Grey Britain Report reveals that three times as many front gardens are paved over compared to ten years ago, a total increase of 15 square miles of ‘grey’, and that plant cover in front gardens has decreased by as much as 15 per cent.  More than five million front gardens now have no plants growing in them, more than seven million are nearly totally paved over and four and a half million front gardens are completely paved over.

The RHS believes it is vital to reverse this trend for the nation’s health, for wildlife, to mitigate against pollution and heat waves and to protect the UK’s homes from flooding. Sue Biggs, RHS Director General, said: “We recently released evidence of an alarming trend of Britain paving over its front gardens and not growing any plants in them.”

greening grey britain

By paving over our streets, perhaps we’re missing the many wonderful ways that flowers, plants and trees enhance our lives on a daily basis and, therefore, value them more.” Almost three times as many of people across the UK, nearly one in three, think plants in our streets and community spaces increase the value of the area and property prices. Nearly half of the nation thinks that plants in public places provide a healthier environment for local people and communities, a 10% increase compared to a decade ago.

This post was written by:

- who has written 872 posts on My Climate Change Garden.

I am not an experienced gardener - more of an enthusiastic amateur who learns by trial and error and who is keen to "manage" the effects of shifting weather patterns on my garden. Writing this blog is my passion and it has evolved over 12 years to inspire engagement with climate change outside our back doors, in our personal gardens and green spaces. My mission is to fertilise and expand this platform to grow a community of global gardeners communicating about the effects of climate change on our plants and exploring how each individual can make small changes in our lives to become more sustainable. The future of our gardens and #OurPlanet is in our hands - please plant your own seeds for our collective sustainable future.

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