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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Where the Yards are Paved

It seems that Londoners are choosing pavement over gardens.


If the garden of England is Kent, then its front drive may well be London, according to a survey that shows the capital's householders and landlords are paving over front gardens, erecting sheds and decks, and cutting down trees.

The biggest survey ever conducted of private space in the capital, taken by the London Wildlife Trust, shows it is getting greyer – threatening its reputation of being one of the world's greenest cities because of its extensive public parks and gardens.

Although the report was not detailed enough to identify which boroughs were destroying their gardens, suspicion fell equally on both rich and poor boroughs. Anecdotal evidence suggests that London's greener outer suburbs, where gardens are around 10 times larger on average than those in inner city boroughs, are increasingly paving over their green space as a fashion statement. However, landlords in inner city boroughs may be turning to concrete in order to avoid paying for garden upkeep.


  1. I've never understood how people who live in a big city can just eliminate the luxury of having a garden, however small it is.

    And of course hard pavements do absolutely nothing to equip a city to handle the predicted increase in downpour as part of the suspected climate change. Here in Dennmark the garden association is trying to work with local and national government to encourage "permeable" gardening that can soak up large quantities of rain water, rather than letting it run off to the sewer system that simply cannot handle the volume of rain when e.g. Copenhagen got around 150mm of rain in 2 hours in early July... Paving over gardens is not just an aesthetic issue, but also a very real practical problem for the urban communities.

  2. the problem is the cost/lack of of street parking facilities forcing Londononers to turn front gardens into car parks. Result - ugly frontages, flooding (no soil for seepage) and loss of habitats for wildlife. Blame the councils who are minting money from the motorist.