In today’s world it is important to consider your impact on the environment and we like to help our customers consider sustainable and eco-friendly options available when landscaping and designing their outdoor space. Here are a few things you could think about before starting your landscape project.
Recycle and Reuse Materials
A big environmental concern can be the origin, extraction, manufacture and installation of materials in structures, paths, walls and patios. Using recycled or reclaimed materials is one way to reduce your impact on the environment when designing your garden.
You could use reclaimed timber, railway sleepers or reclaimed paving slabs for example. Railway sleepers make a lovely border to a path or flowerbed. Visit a local reclamation yard and see what you can find – it may spark a creative vision for your garden design.
Use Permeable Paving
Permeable paving allows water to seep through it using natural filtration while other types of concrete or paving allow water to run off it, normally into a communal drainage system which has caused problems with flash flooding in the past.
In Wales we see a lot of rain so opting for a product which promotes natural drainage is a more sustainable option. During the laying process, tiny voids are created which allows water to pass through. The added benefit for you is that you will see a reduction in puddles and standing water.
Many flash floods are caused by surface water run-off and the capacity of drainage installed hundreds of years ago – not just by overflowing rivers. Therefore using permeable paving to absorb water instead of directing it into drainage or allowing it to build up on the surface can help prevent floods.
If you opt for a resin bound permeable paving it is produced using natural and recycled materials making it also a sustainable choice.
Use a Sustainable Urban Drainage System (SUDS)
These drainage systems also deal with surface water run off in an environmentally friendly way. Traditional drainage systems are limited by various factors including capacity, damage/blockage from debris and contamination of drinking water. SUDSs bypass the traditional drainage system and return rainwater to natural water sources or streams as soon as possible. The objective being to use rainfall to recharge water sources by using various forms of permeable layers to ensure the water is not captured or redirected to another locations. These layers could include soil and vegetation but may also include artificial materials.
There are so many things you could do to encourage wildlife into your garden. We love the idea of having an area of “wild garden” where you don’t mow the lawn or do any weeding (very low maintenance) in order to attract bees, butterflies and other insects. You might want to consider a pond or perhaps installing bird boxes to increase the wildlife. Growing climbers like ivy or roses are also good for insects and birds offering food and cover year round.
Use Natural Stone
Stone is the original green building material. It doesn’t need other materials or resources to create it. If you source a local stone you can also reduce the environmental impact of transportation. Penrhyn Slate Quarry is a quarry located in Bangor for any slate materials you may wish to use, or you may choose to use reclaimed stone. Many quarries embrace the principals of environmental responsibility and sustainability. We use Marshalls for a high number of our projects and they are committed to preserving the environment and reducing their carbon footprint. They have a full sustainability policy available on their website.
If you are wanting to develop a garden design or landscaping project with the environment in mind we would be delighted to discuss it with you and offer our advice on products and designs which would be more sustainable and environmentally friendly, contact us for more information.