Are our front gardens turning into tarmac driveways?
The Royal Horticultural Society thinks so. Why are homeowners paving their front Gardens and turning them into tarmac driveways and patios?
When you imagine a typical British front garden, you first think of a small piece of well-tended lawn. Maybe even with a hedge.
But in the past 10 years, the number has risen. The number of properties with front gardens now gravelled or paved, instead of the usual grass has risen by 300%. This now accounts for 25% of all houses, a recent RHS survey shows.
Tarmac driveways, is there an environmental cost?
Is there an environmental cost? Well, paving can increase the risk of flash flooding. Especially if it’s not installed properly. Ill-fitting block work means water will run straight off the paving and overwhelm your drainage systems. TV makeover programmes are partly to blame says the RHS. This is because they encourage homeowners to replace gardens with patios.
However, we think this is unfair and most proud homeowners simply want to make the most of their gardens by making them more desirable. Plus as previously mentioned, if the paving is fitted professionally, there is no reason for flash flooding to cause an issue.
Paving over driveways – is there a balance is needed?
So really it’s about striking a ‘balance’. When vegetation disappears from our streets and driveways Leeds, urban temperatures will be difficult to regulate. Paved surfaces are known to absorb heat in the day and release it at night. So keeping a good percentage of greenery within a patio, driveway or garden can overcome this. That way, as well as offering privacy, plants and trees absorb atmosphere dust and provide a place for insects to feed and birds to nest.
Most homeowners don’t want to get rid of their front garden but are being pressured to tarmac driveways for other purposes. These could be for storage or recycling waste bins. Plus they also need parking for two or more vehicles.
Do you have kerb appeal?
Having a front garden around your driveway offers what estate agents call ‘kerb appeal’. If you’re selling your property and you have a nice front garden too, then that’s a real asset.
And then there is the train of thought that says front gardens may look nice, but do homeowners actually spend any time in them? The front garden isn’t really somewhere you sit out in, it’s more about a space you keep nice for the neighbourhood.
Recent RAC report
There are more than 38 million vehicles currently licensed on the UK’s roads. Yet 50 years ago, there were just 11 million.
Also, take into consideration a car spends approximately 80% of its time parked at home, according to a recent RAC report. And UK estate agents often quote off-street parking as a bonus to potential property buyers. In fact, in areas where parking is an issue and at a premium, it will naturally add value to a property.
So while no one wants to see the demise of the Great British front garden, it seems that with careful planning around your new patio, the balance can be struck in terms of eco and economics. Block paving can be done correctly!