Chris Packham on growing a 'wild garden' in your home
The Springwatch presenter, 59, says we should let lawns grow wild instead. Although he appreciates that people enjoy kicking a ball or sunbathing on mowed lawns, he says they will see “enormous riches” if they cultivate wild flower patches and encourage wildlife to move in.
His advice is at odds with the Royal Horticultural Society, which recommends mowing lawns twice a week in summer.
There are an estimated 15 million lawns in the UK, with more than £50million being spent on lawn fertilisers and more than £125million on lawn mowers every year.
But Chris told the Andy Jaye podcast it would be a “win-win” for homeowners and the environment to let the grass grow.
He said mowing “is a very bizarre habit when you think about it.
“We enjoy the diversity of nature – why not enjoy that on your patch? A lot of people’s patches is a lawn.
“I appreciate that the kids may want somewhere to kick a football and you may want somewhere to lay a towel and do some sunbathing or whatever else, so it’s a question of getting the balance right.
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“But if you have space, and you can give the lawn over to a wild flower patch, then you will see enormous riches as a result.”
He explained: “Firstly, flowers which are a lot more interesting than most grasses. Grass flowers are pretty cool but not the ones people normally have in their lawns.
“Then you’ve got all the insects, a myriad of insects – bees, flies, wasps and beetles.
“And all of the things that in turn eat those, so all of the invertebrate predators – spiders and the things that hunt them – and then the birds come too.
“You begin to build a far richer community and it’s much easier to manage anyway – you only have to cut it once a year.
“You can literally sit back on your deckchair on that part of the grass that remains and enjoy that lawn.”
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