Now Chris Packham says we should stop mowing our lawn! TV presenter says ‘weird habit’ is bad for nature after accusing British of ‘persecuting cockroaches and wasps’
- Presenter Packham, 59, said homeowners should consider letting the gardens go
- He suggested that instead of a cut lawn, families might like the plots of wildflowers.
- The commentary is supported by other nature experts who agree with the idea
BBC TV naturalist Chris Packham today called on millions of UK homeowners to stop mowing their lawns because it is bad for nature.
The Springwatch host, 59, insists we should let go of the national obsession and let our herbs grow wild.
He admitted he knew why people liked to hit a tan ball on freshly mown lawns, but said they could see “enormous wealth” if they stopped the cut.
Instead, he wants the British to cultivate plots of wildflowers, encourage mini-ecosystems and stimulate wildlife.
Packham said: “The monoculture of grass that you continually mow to keep it from reproducing is a very weird habit when you think about it.
Presenter Chris Packham once defended wasps and cockroaches against hostility
“We appreciate the diversity of nature – why not take advantage of it on your plot? A lot of people’s plots are a lawn.
“I understand the kids might want a place to play football and maybe you want a place to put a towel and sunbathe or whatever, so it’s about finding the right balance.
“But if you have the space and you can give the lawn to a patch of wild flowers, you will see enormous wealth.
The science behind his latest comments seemed to accumulate that mowing could be bad
The Lawn Ultimatum: Is Mowing Lawn Bad for Nature?
Lawns can be harmful to the environment as homeowners strive for the perfect garden.
According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, lawns across the country consume nearly 3 trillion gallons of water per year, 200 million gallons of gasoline for mowers and 70 million pounds of pesticides.
He adds, “You may also know that sod, as welcoming as it is to our bare feet, provides virtually no habitat for pollinators and other animals and plants that make up a healthy and diverse ecosystem.
“In fact, these lawns can be very damaging to the environment and to vertebrates and insects.
Birds, for example, can ingest berries and seeds that have absorbed pesticides from the soil.
Likewise, lawn runoff can carry pesticides and fertilizers into rivers, lakes, streams and oceans through the sewage system. This can poison fish and other aquatic animals and harm humans who swim, surf, and eat potentially contaminated seafood. And then, of course, lawn mowers can pollute the air.
“First, flowers which are much more interesting than most grasses. Grass flowers are pretty cool, but not the ones people normally have in their lawns.
“Then you have all the bugs, a myriad of bugs – bees, flies, wasps and beetles.
“And all the things that in turn eat them, so all the invertebrate predators – the spiders and the things that chase them – and then the birds come too.”
His advice conflicts with the Royal Horticultural Society, which recommends mowing the lawn twice a week during the summer.
But he said the long lawns will soon be home to insects, including bees, flies, wasps and beetles as well as spiders.
Previous research has suggested that in one year we spent over £ 50million on lawn fertilizer and over £ 125million on lawn mowers, with around 15million lawns in the UK.
Packham commented on the Andy Jaye podcast and said it would be a “win-win” for homeowners and the environment to let it grow.
He added: “You start to build a much richer community and of course it’s a lot easier to manage anyway, you just have to cut it once a year,
“You can literally sit on your lounge chair on that part of the grass that is left over and enjoy this act.”
Earlier this month, Packham said British nature lovers shouldn’t get excited about the rainforest by “bullying” cockroaches and wasps on our doorstep.
He lamented “armchair” environmentalists ahead of his new BBC Two nature documentary, filmed at a waterhole in Tanzania.
The water point was built to keep animals away from human water sources and reduce competition for the precious resource.