London’s lost gardens

The Turfgrass Growers Association (TGA) has joined the ‘Forum for gardening with wildlife in mind’.

Set up three years ago and led by Natural England, it brings together more than 70 of the UK’s wildlife and horticultural organisations from both the private and public sector, joined by a common desire to protect the future of gardens in the UK and to see those gardens become more wildlife-friendly.Last summer, it launched a campaign called ‘Let our gardens live: a manifesto for gardens, people and nature’ which aimed to highlight the importance of gardens to people and wildlife to policy makers and outlined some of the actions needed to be taken to protect gardens.

The campaign revealed how in London, an area 22 times the size of Hyde Park has been lost through gardens being paved over, a figure which has shocked TGA Chief Executive Tim Mudge: “The TGA has been extremely concerned about the growing trend for paving over lawns for some time.”

“Lawns keep our cities cool and help protect our homes from flooding through the drainage of rainwater, unlike other surfaces such as patios and decking. Our member growers have invested heavily in the development of turf that’s tolerant of drought, waterlogging and heavy-use so that everyone can enjoy their lawn regardless of whether they live in the city or the countryside.”

“The Forum aims to reverse the trend by using research, education and promotion to encourage property owners, developers, planners and central government to do all they can to protect gardens and green spaces and the TGA has pledged its support to this important initiative.”

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