When people talk about having a dry month (and when they do they’re often referring to January) it can signify something rather specific… a desire to repent after a boozy Christmas period and take a month away from the lubricious temptations of alcohol.
However, when the Met Office talk about a dry month, they mean something entirely different. The Met Office recently announced that the UK experienced its driest September on record. Bearing in mind their records go back to 1910 and that’s evidently quite a record to beat. Before this September, the previous record holder was 1959, with 23.8mm of rainfall. In September 2014 it was more like 20. And that’s about 20% of what we can usually expect for an average September.
Drilling down into the stats we find that Northern Ireland was actually the driest part of these islands in that month, Scotland the wettest. It was also unseasonably warm; one of the hottest Septembers, in fact, on record. Wherever you happen to call home, all of this has played havoc on the nation’s lawns… just settling in for their winter hibernation…. when suddenly exposed to a last shot of summer. And that can all contribute to long-term impact, as the water that does fall is drawn up by the growing plants, rather than sinking into the subsoil itself to replenish drain stocks.
Much of the south of England actually experienced droughts during the spring and summer of 2014. And we all know what that means… hosepipe bans all round, with fines running to £1000 if you are caught doing something a basic as watering the lawn. And that can really hit landscape gardeners, and the turf farmers that supply them, as they also can’t use hoses to keep their real surfaces alive.
Increased demand for artificial lawns
For these reasons we have seen more and more demand for the sort of quality artificial surface that can be provided by Cheshire Artificial Grass. An artificial surface can actually improve the environmental effect of a lawn, as it is permeable and the rainwater can therefore find its way back into the ground, without being drawn upon by any plant life finding its way through the surface.
In fact, customers increasingly cite the environmental benefits as one of the reasons for making the switch. Firstly, the dry climate we have been experiencing, and the increased implementation of hose pipe bans, have led to people seeking out ways of keeping a beautiful lawn, without the need for water. Secondly, a lawn is a monoculture that, in any case, provides little habitat or use for animals. In fact, take into account the fuel for mowing and weed killers and other fertilisers, and a natural lawn can actually have a negative impact on the wider environment.
Some academics now suggest that the increase in droughts and the commensurate lack of water has lead public opinion to turn against natural lawns, which may be seen as a drain – quite literally – on an important natural resource. In the future, the use of hoses for watering lawns may be met with more than a cursory “tut tut” from the neighbours.
In comparison an artificial lawn is likely to be low maintenance, incredibly realistic, and durable a surface. It’s no wonder the trend for artificial surfaces is now growing as fast as the weeds through a natural lawn!
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