Bob Flowerdew sparks fury for urging homeowners to rip up turf

High-profile organic gardener Bob Flowerdew has attracted criticism after urging homeowners to rip up their lawns.

The Gardeners’ Question Time panelist attracted from turf growers after penning an article recently suggesting that having a lawn may be seen as bad as driving a gas-guzzling vehicle.

Turf figures pounced as soon as the article was published in Amateur Gardening's 18 August issue in which Flowerdew said drier summers and increasing frequency of hosepipe bans meant scorched turf would become more likely in years to come.

Lindum managing director Stephen Fell told Horticulture Week: "Mr Flowerdew is obviously trying to grab a headline with his ludicrous assertion that maintaining a lawn is bad for the environment. The exact opposite is the case.

"Not only is grass the perfect green lung of urban areas, absorbing CO2 and producing oxygen, cooling our cities and absorbing rainfall, allowing water to filter back into the aquifers, but it is the perfect leisure space.

"More worryingly, Mr Flowerdew is obviously not aware of new grass species and cultivars that tolerate drought extremely well, and others that don’t need mowing very often. It would be far more positive to talk about rainwater harvesting.

"It is one of the biggest scandals that so much rainwater rushes into the sewers when for a modest investment it could be used, along with new grass-breeding technology, to keep our land green and pleasant with no need to feel guilty about it."

Paul Dawson, managing director of turf grower Rolawn, told Daily Mail Online: "Lawns have significant environmental benefits, producing oxygen, filtering water back into aquifers and reducing flooding."

And Q-Lawns marketing manager Angela Lambert told Amateur Gardening: "People in the UK want a lawn; it’s a quintessentially British Garden Feature. It’s good of Bob to provoke debate but lawns are attractive to wildlife."

Amateur Gardening editor Tim Rumball said: "It’s a load of old compost. Take away the lawn and you’re left with a jungle and nowhere to walk, relax and enjoy all your efforts."

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Sargent's solutions - how to attract the best staff for your business

Sargent's solutions - how to attract the best staff for your business

There are ways to find quality candidates for horticultural jobs if you widen your search parameters, Alan Sargent suggests.

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

An effective strategy to retain staff is the best way for any business to avoid a potential recruitment crisis, Neville Stein advises.

IoG Saltex 2017 - Kit showcase

IoG Saltex 2017 - Kit showcase

Mowers, turf care, battery equipment, seeds, arboriculture kit and weed control will all see a wide range of new releases at Saltex, Sally Drury reports.

Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

IOG Saltex

Get set for IoG Saltex 2017 with our comprehensive show guide and exhibitor info.

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Industry Data

An exclusive report for HW subscribers revealing the key development trends, clients and locations for 2017.

Products & Kit Resources

BALI National Landscape Awards 2016

Read all about the winning projects in the awards, run in association with Horticulture Week.

Noel Farrer

Founding partner of Farrer Huxley Associates Noel Farrer on landscape and green space

Read Noel Farrer