British people have been urged to think twice before replacing their lawns with artificial grass, with experts warning the growing popularity of such products is threatening the country's wildlife.
Businesses selling turf that looks like the real think have been booming in recent years thanks to improvements in product quality and the fact that homeowners are becoming increasingly pushed for time in which to care for their grass.
However, the Dorset Wildlife Trust and the RSPB is warning that artificial grass provides no benefits for creatures including insects and birds - and if the trend continues, then we could be facing raid and irreversible population declines.
"Birds get absolutely nothing from artificial grass, they can't dig for worms or anything like that. An increase in the use of artificial grass will just add to the general decline of wildlife. It just seems a shame that people feel they haven't got the time or the inclination to look after a lawn," said Joy Wallis from the Dorset Wildlife Trust.
The RSPB is urging homeowners to keep their natural lawns if at all possible. We'd definitely second this advice here at CJ Wildlife too - human activity has already led to the destruction of many important wildlife habitats and an area of grass can be a great feature for garden wildlife. Leaving some or all of it unmown for most of the year will further increase its value to wildlife
The last thing that birds and other creatures need is to be deprived of one of their last safe havens, whether that's in urban areas or the countryside.
Creating a wildlife-friendly garden is a great way of attracting beneficial insects, birds and mammals into your garden and helping them to survive - and you also get to reap the rewards when you watch their antics from your windows.