Monty Don: Paved driveways are one of our ‘worst contributions’ to climate change

·2 min read
Gardeners' World presenter Monty Don photographed next to a greenhouse - Glenn Dearing/BBC
Gardeners' World presenter Monty Don photographed next to a greenhouse - Glenn Dearing/BBC

Monty Don, the television presenter, has said having a paved driveway is one of the “worst contributions” homeowners have made to climate change.

The 66-year-old Gardeners’ World presenter said tarmacking or paving a driveway prevented water from being absorbed into the ground, a growing problem in the face of increased flooding as a result of climate change.

Don said one of the best ways people could conserve water and mitigate the effects of climate change was to have as many absorbent surfaces in their gardens as possible.

Writing in BBC Gardeners’ World magazine, Don said: “A garden composed mostly of hard surfaces is making everybody’s problems around water worse.

“We need to create as many chances as possible for excess water to be absorbed so that it can slowly work down into our underground aquifers and make its way gradually to our rivers and out to the sea.

“One of the worst contributions gardeners and householders have made to the problem is the tarmacking and paving of too many front gardens.”

He also claimed that although people needed to reduce the number and usage of cars, they are “not going away any time soon”, but said local authorities and governments should come together to find a solution.

Earlier this year, the veteran presenter told the Radio Times that gardeners should embrace wildflowers and overgrown meadows rather than neatly mowing their grass, which burns fossil fuels and damages wildlife.

He said he has witnessed climate change becoming more of a pressing issue over the years, and believes that the arrival of spring has been brought forward by 10 days in his lifetime.

“People are noticing that it’s a bit more flooded or it’s a bit warmer, or the little flower whose name you don’t know is flowering earlier than you remember it did five years ago,” he said.

“The net effect of that is to say, yes, this is happening in my life, on my doorstep, and in itself that’s not a big deal – but that’s the point. It’s all these billions of not-big-deals that are making up the biggest deal that’s ever faced mankind.”

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