Number of paved-over, plant-free front gardens in the UK has tripled in 10 years, from 1.5 million to 4.6 million

Three million front gardens across Britain have been completely paved over since 2005, according to data from charity the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS). The number of paved-over, plant-free front gardens in the UK has tripled in 10 years, from 1.5 million to 4.6 million.

The RHS has launched its Greening Grey Britain initiative as it calls for a reversal of the alarming trend.

In ten years there has been a 15 square mile increase in ‘grey’ thanks to paving of front gardens, reports Horticulture Week, while plant cover in front gardens has fallen by as much as 15 per cent. More than five million front gardens are now devoid of plants, and almost 12 million are nearly or completely paved over. Londoners are the worst offenders, with half of all front gardens now paved over.Gardens play a crucial role in urban and suburban areas, and potentially will become even more important in the future as our climate changes. From helping protect us against flooding and extremes of temperature, to supporting wildlife and helping gardeners to be healthy, gardens can provide an amazing range of benefits.

The phrase ‘greening' simply means growing plants wherever possible in towns and cities. Each individual may only have a small garden but, together, the amount of green space we look after really adds up – it’s about 25% of the land in most cities. We really can make a difference by ensuring that every available space in our front and back garden contains planting.

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