A new study by the London Wildlife Trust has shown that London's gardens are becoming less green.
The Trust took aerial photos of 1,292 garden plots across London in 1998-99 and between 2006-08. It concluded that whilst 24% of London's land is covered by gardens, the proportion given over to hard surfacing increased by 26% increase over the study period.
"The speed and scale of their loss is alarming," says Mathew Frith, Deputy Chief Executive of London Wildlife Trust. "Collectively these losses detrimentally affect London’s wildlife and impact on our ability to cope with climate change. It’s never been more important that Londoners understand the value of our capital’s gardens."
The study identified three major impacts of the vegetation loss.
Many paving materials used in domestic situations are impermeable resulting in excess water running into sewers and drains, rather than soaking into the land. Although planning regulations were changed in October 2008 so that planning permission is now required for paving of front gardens, many front gardens have already been paved.
Hard surfacing also stores more solar energy than vegetated surfaces. This contributes to the heat island effect, exacerbating the adverse impacts of summer heatwaves.
The study also indicated that hard paving strips away a wildlife habitat. On an individual this can have a significant impact on the biodiversity value of a garden. On a larger scale significant changes will adversely affect the variety of wildlife seen in neighbouring gardens.
Full summary report attached.
In response to the report's findings LWT have started a campaign, 'Garden for a Living London' which asks Londoners to "make a pledge to do one thing to create a wildlife and climate friendly garden and help transform the capital's three million gardens into a network of nature reserves".
Thanks, Hugh, for reporting this press release from the London Wildlife Trust.
If people saw the report in the Guardian they'll have recognised the quotes. Showing that even 'quality' papers are not immune to churnalism. Though the Guardian did add a comment from its gardening editor.
Plus a large photo of a banana yellow car parked on the concreted frontage of a house in Warwick Gardens. Click here to see the location on Google Streetview.
Thanks Alan. Hadn't seen that. Here's the article Alan is referring to. I guess to this picture from Crouch End doesn't event begin to compete with the Warwick Gardens one. Who recognised it Alan?
The location is in the photo, Hugh.
A CPZ sign suggests Haringey Green Lanes CPZ. Then there's the style of the ID tag which Haringey puts on each lamppost. The code WG 5 K suggests it's the fifth lamppost along Warwick Gardens. Google Streetview confirms.
Residents using the Council's website to report say, dumped rubbish or potholes, have an option to use the nearest lamppost ID number to show the location. Which is handy if, for example you can't spot nearby house numbers.