A report on the BBC magazine highlights the loss of garden space to paving. A number of reasons are cited, the rise of the car, a less street oriented lifestyle and people getting more freedom to do as they wish with their property. It may also reflect a lack of interest in the environment – tidiness and order are frequently prioritized over informality and wildness.
The article points out the environmental impact – extra run-off from rain, loss of wildlife, increased temperatures as less heat is absorbed by vegetation. There is also the aesthetic impact – a more urban, built over landscape.
The article uses the Becontree estate as an example of how things have changed. We would be uncomfortable with the old style formal approach – it’s not that wildlife friendly! But we do need to recreate green areas including gardens in our urban areas.
Paving on a small scale is part and parcel of the wider destruction of the environment – perhaps it reflects the lack of concern of many over the loss of environment. Never mind Mars looks quite nice – no annoying plants to trim!