Turfed out: Is the Great British lawn becoming a thing of the past?

Posted 7 September 2015 by Stephen Maunder

More than 1 in 4 homes no longer have a real grass lawn in their back or front gardens, according to new research by the garden and conservatory furniture retailer Alfresia. 

The data shows that the Great British lawn is on its way out, with homeowners slowly replacing grass with low maintenance outdoor living areas suitable for entertaining.

Traditionally, a well-kept lawn was something of a status symbol in suburban areas and a priority for the majority of households, with green-fingered Brits often spending weekends weeding the grass and preening the edges, but now 71% of homeowners say they believe having a lawn is a burden.

Garden shed

More than two thirds of those surveyed cite a lack of time to maintain a lawn as the main reason for not having one, resulting in 1 in 10 homeowners installing artificial lawns. 

The research found that Brits now prefer decking (57%) patio space (55%), sheds (52%) and other garden rooms or summer houses (20%), as they attempt to maximise living space. 

The recent 'Shed of the Year' competition might also have had an effect, with 1 in 5 owners using their sheds for non-traditional purposes. 

Craig Corbett, marketing manager at Alfresia, said: “As a time-poor nation, we’re constantly looking for ways to maintain our homes and outdoor space, with minimum effort and minimum cost. Maintaining a lawn can take a lot of work. There’s mowing, fertilizing and not forgetting the task of watering it when it hasn’t rained for a few days - taking up time that Brits don’t have.

“Of course, having a patio or decking fitted in the garden often means sacrificing some, if not all of the lawn space. These garden fixtures are becoming increasingly common, and this combined with the fact that adults in the UK don’t feel the same way about their lawns as they used to, it’s no surprise that lawns have shrunk nearly 50% over the past 10 years.”

Is time running out for the Great British lawn? Join the debate by tweeting us @What_House

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