Artificial lawns are huge threat to Britain's wildlife, experts warn.
The growing trend of homeowners replacing natural lawns with artificial grass is threatening to turf out Britain's wildlife, experts have warned.
More and more people are installing fake lawns in their gardens because the quality of the product has improved so much in recent years it is often hard to tell the difference between natural and artificial grass. The new manufactured lawns provide gardeners with an instant immaculate-looking plot that requires no mowing, watering or fertilizing.
Some suppliers have reported a surge in business in recent years, with one company seeing a year-on-year increase of 50 per cent since 2010.
But if the trend increases the pretend version will pose a threat to the country's wildlife that relies on gardens as a valuable food source.
Artificial grass provides no benefit to wildlife experts say the popularity will only increase the decline in bird, insect and mammal populations across the country.
Tim Rumball, editor of Amateur Gardening magazine, said the trend could even affect the atmosphere, as plants convert carbon dioxide into oxygen and a lack of natural grassland could affect the carbon levels in the atmosphere.
Mr Rumball said: "Artificial grass these days looks great. You cut it to shape, put it down and you have an instant lawn that you could display at Chelsea and it needs no maintaining.
"There is definitely a growing trend of people laying fake lawns and these days you can buy rolls of it in garden centres whereas before it was a very specialist thing."The texture and appearance has also improved and they no longer look like green carpets. It can take people a few minutes to realise they are stood on an artificial lawn rather than a real one.
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