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Article by Sarah Hamilton-Walker | 30th August 2018

Don't Fake it if You Love Wildlife

It is well known that gardens represent a huge significance for wildlife and the majority of gardeners are keen to promote biodiversity.

Sadly for wildlife, however, there has been a dramatic increase in the use of artificial grass, which poses a significant threat to wildlife that relies on gardens as a valuable food source.

Fake grass offers no benefit to bird, insect and mammal populations, and many believe that the surge in popularity of artificial lawns is threatening the habitat of butterflies, bees and garden birds. Of course, there are advantages to having a fake lawn – less up keep (especially mowing!) is the key point that most people strive for. Appearance is the next most desired outcome. It’s also a great surface for those with dogs who like to dig as it’s not easy to destroy…and it doesn’t need watering either.

It’s easy to see why people go down this route however laying an artificial lawn requires considerable ground preparation including levelling, the installation of a weed membrane, MOT Type 1 crushed stone compacted to a smooth finish, then ideally another layer of weed-proof membrane before laying the ’grass’.

It’s inevitable that the colour will change over time and the lawn will show signs of wear and tear. Most artificial grass has a long guarantee of up to 15 years, but there will come a time when it will need to be replaced. Most artificial lawns are not biodegradable and it will ultimately go into landfill at the end of its life.

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