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RHS tells British gardeners to let their lawns get scorched this summer to avoid wasting water

Brown is the new green! RHS tells British gardeners to let their lawns get scorched this summer to avoid wasting water and protect the environment

  • British gardeners are being urged to let their lawns turn brown during dry spells
  • Royal Horticultural Society wants people to save water and help environment
  • It comes after the UK experienced the fourth wettest May on record this year 

British gardeners are being urged to let their lawns turn brown during dry spells to help save water and do their bit for the environment.

The Royal Horticultural Society, which previously advised that irrigating lawns was unnecessary as grass will recover, is now calling on gardeners to switch to water butts or just wait for the rain instead. 

It comes after the UK experienced the fourth wettest May on record as England faces water shortages within 25 years unless behaviour changes.

British gardeners are being urged to let their lawns turn brown during dry spells to help save water and do their bit for the environment. Stock image used

The RHS said the total number of pledges gardeners make to save water will be revealed at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in September.  

Water scientist Janet Manning told the Times: ‘If we’re to get serious about saving water then not using mains water on lawns in the summer is one of the first steps. 

‘Lawn watering can use as much water in an hour as one person would use in a week.

‘By raising the mower blades, choosing the right grass varieties and caring for the soil that the lawn is planted in, a natural grass lawn will recover after a hot dry spell of weather, and if it doesn’t it may well have done you a favour.

She added that many people underestimate how much water they use in daily life and do not realise the national average is 142 litres per person.

It comes after the UK experienced the fourth wettest May on record as England faces water shortages within 25 years unless behaviour changes. Stock image

It comes after the UK experienced the fourth wettest May on record as England faces water shortages within 25 years unless behaviour changes. Stock image 

Research suggests that not  running a hosepipe or sprinkler on lawns during a dry spell would save as much water as 383million baths a year.

They also advise that simple measures such as using drip trays under pots and tubs would also the equivalent of 3.3million bathtubs full of water across the UK. 

The Environment Agency has warned that England faces water shortages by 2050 unless behavioural changes are made.

CEO James Bevan said in 2019 wasting water should be ‘socially unacceptable as blowing smoke in the face of a baby or throwing your plastic bags into the sea’.  

The RHS and Cranfield University have launched a website, mains2rains.uk, where gardeners can pledge to adopt measures to save water, including installing a water butt, placing drip trays beneath pots and adding mulch around new plants.

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