Front garden exodus

“It’s such a shame”, writes John Sturgis in the Spectator. Ripping out front gardens to accommodate cars is not only aesthetically despicable, but an environmental and wildlife disaster.

In his poignant article entitled, “Stop Paving over front gardens” Sturgis brings to light the demise of London’s front graden, a topic which is sadly rarely discussed. The HTA’s October 2022 survey revealed that 19% of UK consumers with a private garden intended to pave over at least some of it in the next 5 years, putting an estimated 3-7% of total UK domestic garden area at risk. Very concerning given the substantial environmental benefits urban greenery and vegetation.

Considering the current urgency of the world’s environmental concerns, it does seem strange that vital greenery of front gardens can so easily be ripped up without any repercussion. “It’s a tiny eco-disaster. But it’s emblematic of a wider malaise – because it’s also completely unremarkable”, writes Sturgis.

Paving over front gardens rarely requires any from of planning permission, “it’s simply a developmental free-for-all”, that quite rightly needs to be stopped. Cunningly Sturgis suggests putting some of the Ulez revenue into grants to restore extinct front gardens. “What about putting some of that Ulez revenue into grants for homeowners who would consider restoring a dead garden? “What a message that would send. And free money can be very persuasive”, he writes.

A must read article on a topic deserves much more urgent media attention.

Bravo Mr Sturgis.